Yet another installment in the strange experiences of MDK.
Alienus Tempus: Part 4 – A Tale of Two Anomalies
This will possibly be the most controversial yet the most important account of events that have occurred in my life. Some of what you are about to read may be unsettling for you, but know that I don’t say these things lightly. There really is no subtle way to tell you what I have experienced, however I will do the best I can at this time. The implications at this point are unknown but this is my driving force.
I left off last time with T, S, and I moving from Cape Girardeau to Dexter, MO. T was working full time and I had been severely ill with depression and OCD. T had had enough of my crazy shit so she decided we should move to Dexter to be closer to both our parents. My mother could help out with our daughter while T worked. It so happened that we moved into the house that my mother and family were moving out of – 827 North Mulberry (interesting but I’m sure coincidental that my birthday is 8-27). This occurred in the first few days of August, 2002. This move seemed to leave me in an even more dark, and harrowing state of mind. I felt like I had given up on life and life had given up on me. I had to be hospitalized for a few days as a result. At the hospital in Crystal City, MO I was seen by a social worker for the “intake”. I told him about everything that happened including the “PKD Connection”. Then we began talking about the Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha correlation and at that moment I had another déjà vécu experience. Once I was in the hospital there was a young lady who went on and on about the West Nile Virus, which was a “real-world” worry at that particular time. Although there was no hard déjà vécu, all of it did seem very familiar, like I may have lived through this before. I resumed taking an antidepressant that I had previously tried once, and over the course of a few weeks began to feel somewhat better. During that time I experienced a few more déjà vécu moments, one in particular occurred one time when we came home and attached to the handle of the screen door frame was a note from an auto lot in a town about 25 miles away. Obviously wrong house, but the déjà vécu was prominent.
A month later we moved from the previous house, which felt as if it held a firm death grip on me, to a nice wood sided trailer. I began to read Phil’s novels, the very first of which was VALIS. It wasn’t an easy book to read, and to this day, it’s the only book of his that I’ve read more than once. Although interesting, there was nothing significant about this book in relation to my personal experiences. I read several of the novels from August 2002 to March 2003. In rough order they were: VALIS, The Man in the High Castle, Flow my Tears the Policeman Said, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, UBIK, Dr. Bloodmoney, A Scanner Darkly, Time Out of Joint, Eye in the Sky, The Divine Invasion, A Maze of Death, Martian Time Slip, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer.
The unfamiliarity with Phil’s work ceased with the second book of his I read. It was The Man in the High Castle. It was confusing at first… such a since of familiarity. It was like I had read this before déjà lu, when I know I hadn’t. But it was more than that. It was very personal, consciously intimate, even. When I read the passage when Mr. Tagomi is musing over the piece of triangular silver jewelry and he witnesses a parallel world… it was as if… as if I had written this section myself. It felt insane as it sounds, yet it felt… so right. This type of experience of which I’d never heard of before could be called déjà écrit. Although the entire novel seemed familiar to me, the only other section in which I feel as if I had some sort of collaboration of creation was just earlier in the novel when Mr. Tagomi is forced to kill the two German officers, especially the details and his subsequent lamenting. There may be more, but I haven’t read the novel since 2002 and I’ve forgotten much of it, and any more that I felt I may have had some sort of hand in the creation thereof. As I was “remembering” I had the feeling that I had penned “he said” and “she said” incalculable times. I felt as if I had been a writer in a former life, or perhaps from another place and time, separate from this Universe. All the books I vaguely remember having had some association with are: High Castle, Flow my Tears, Stigmata, UBIK, Dr. Bloodmoney, A Scanner Darkly, Time Out of Joint, Eye in the Sky, Martian Time Slip, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Soon after reading those passages and finishing the book I realized where and when I had remembered them. And The Man in the High Castle was not the only book. It was the summer of 1989, just before I turned 16 and is when one of the two “visions” or “anomalies” occurred. I would sometimes in the morning go for a jog around our small town of Gideon, MO. One particular morning I was listening to a mix tape I had made while preparing for the jog. I was sitting on my bed leaning over, tying my shoe when I heard a song playing on the tape in which I know for certain shouldn’t have been on there. A teenager at that time definitely knew what he/she had recorded on their blank tapes. At first I thought that a song from one side of the magnetic tape had “crossed over” onto the other, then I realized that the song was not even on that tape. I can’t remember what song it was. I was obviously concerned so I pushed in the stop button on the tape deck. The music continued to play. I then unplugged the stereo and not only did I still hear the music, it was a little louder. I was puzzled but not panicked. I turned off the fan and anything else that had batteries or a cord in my room including the light as I walked out of my bedroom and into the dining room. I reentered the bedroom and switched on the light. The music was even louder and clearer and it was emanating from beneath my bed. I knelt down and lifted the bed spread to peer beneath the bed. There was nothing beneath my bed, only the music. It was the chorus to Loverboy’s, “This Could be the Night”, belting out crystal clear and quite audible. By that time I was a little spooked. I dashed through the dining room and kitchen and sat on the end of my mom and stepdad’s bed. Mom asked me what I was doing and I told her what happened. She said I must have been dreaming. If only that were the case. I know what happened, and it was real. I was very much awake. I was not having hypnagogic hallucinations, and it was certainly no dream. I relocated from the end of their bed to the floor and watched TV for a while before I finally went back to the room, which was back to normal at that point. I remember trying to make sense of it all. I thought it could have been Russian scientists, Aliens, Paranormal activity, etc. I began to feel silly about being frightened about it. My mother still remembers to this day when that happened. She still maintains that it wasn’t “real”, but that’s okay. I don’t expect her to.
My experiences were not limited to this house, but of interest is that my younger adopted brothers (between 5-11) years old witnessed “floating balls of light” or “ball lightning” one night. All four of them came into my bedroom crying (the younger twins in near hysterics) and told me that there were about 3 or 4 colorful balls of light floating near the heads of their beds. I went in to investigate and searched outside for possible explanations (pranksters with flashlights, etc) but never found anything. I never saw the “floating balls of light”, but I do believe them. There are many hypothesis as to what this phenomenon may be, but the jury is still out on that one. I only bring it up because it occurred near the time and location of my own anomalous experience.
There are other novels of Phil’s that I remember having “read, written, collaborated?”. At this point words can’t express how I felt when reading these novels and particular scenes the very first time. It wasn’t exactly a memory, but if you would call it that, it would be a very vague memory. As if in a fugue or trance when and if I had anything at all to do with it. Perhaps a memory formed in “half-life”? It was during the time at this specific house, close to the time of the anomaly when I feel as if I had been “affected”. It seemed as if Time and Space had been compacted (for me at least) in that minute amount of real time. My Idios Kosmos separated from the Koinos Kosmos. The other novels I remember having had this particular association with include: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and Flow My Tears the Policeman Said. If you would like specific scenes that I felt a close association with I can get back to you in an email. I don’t want to create too lengthy a post. It has never been an entire book in which I had this particular association of co-creation with. Just certain scenes. One interesting event that occurred was that a few hours after I had just been introduced to ChewZ in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch I went to a local convenience store to purchase fuel for my car. When I went in to pay I noticed a new candy on the checkout counter that I had never seen there, or anywhere, before. The candy was ChewZ. I thought it was interesting to say the least. Synchronicity?
The 1989 anomaly was not the only time or place in which I felt close associations with some of Phil’s work. UBIK, Dr. Bloodmoney, and Eye in the Sky are three more books that I remember so prominently. Dr. Bloodmoney seemed to have the most scenes that I associate with. These books seem to coalesce with my first anomalous experience which occurred in the summer of 1986, just weeks before I turned 13. However, I remember Dr. Bloodmoney from both anomalous experiences.
That summer I flew from Missouri to Tulare, California to stay about 5-6 weeks with my biological father and his new wife and stepson. My stepbrother’s name was “Tig” and he was the older brother (by about 3-4 years) that I wish I had always had. He had a half brother and an older sister that didn’t live at the home where I stayed. I had a great time that summer, but there was one time that stood out from the rest. It was probably around 7 or 8 pm, and I was sitting in a chair watching TV. My dad and stepmom were out and my stepbrother was at work at a local fast food place. With remote in hand I changed the channel and I saw myself in the TV. To be honest, I can’t recall whether I saw myself as if a camcorder was behind the TV so that I saw my face and the front of my body and no TV, or if it was 12-15 feet behind me and to my right so that I saw myself in the TV (within the TV… and on and on ad infinitum). I realize it’s no minor detail, but I have both scenarios in mind. I do remember jolting up from the chair and changing the channel. Every channel was the same scene, with me holding the remote in my hand. This obviously frightened me, and not wanting to be alone inside with “whatever it was” I dashed outside of the apartment building so that I wasn’t alone. It was a great relief to see and hear the traffic and life in general outside of that enclosed space. It seems apparent that I should remember a detail as significant as whether I saw a back/profile view (with TV within TV appearance) or I saw the front of my body. I never told anyone about that event, but I know it happened. I was wide awake. No hypnagonic hallucinations, no overactive imagination. It was very lucid. When I returned to the apartment, I did look around the apartment for any clues I could muster. I even thought my older stepsister and her husband could have been playing a practical joke on me. I think it was safe to say that in 1986 they wouldn’t have access to the technology or the desire to do so. No wonder I’m so paranoid, right?
Since then I’ve managed to contact my now ex-stepbrother in June 2006. We kept in contact for a while but he’s dropped from the radar as of lately. During a telephone conversation I asked him if I had ever told him about the “anomaly” that I experienced during that time. He told me he didn’t remember anything about that, but that we often talked about a “Universal God”, which was unusual for me because I was a Christian at the time. He told me that I told him I wanted a transcendental experience with God. Apparently, according to him, I told him that I “saw” God and asked him if he had ever seen “God”. Your guess is as good as mine. I do have my theories, but one thing remains clear… I do not remember ever having such conversations with him. Did I transcend Time and Space, ie “God” during that summer of 1986 and the summer of 1989? I can’t say with certainty. Everything is still occult at this point.
Most of the books I got from the Barnes and Nobles in Cape Girardeau directly or I had ordered them and picked them up from there. However, Phil’s The Penultimate Truth I couldn’t find… not even new on Amazon. There were some used versions from other suppliers, however. I settled on a copy from the bookseller, Alibris. When I received the book (sometime in the second week of December as the order was placed on 12-03-2002 per the packing slip) I took a cursory glance at the packing slip, and apparently, someone felt obligated to scribble a hello on the packing slip. The ink written note on the slip read “Hi – Thanks, Phil Thomas”. There are many ways to explain this scenario (and no, I did not do it myself). The relevance however, is that it is a book written by Philip Dick who thought he may have been associated with the Gnostic Christian, Thomas. And of course, whoever wrote that note claimed to have the name Phil Thomas. This could have been a pure coincidental situation in which one of the employees at either Amazon or Alibris is really named Phil Thomas and was just appreciative of an order placed. Perhaps it was someone familiar with Phil’s books and knowing that whomever (me) was purchasing this book would know the story about Phil and Thomas and merely decided to be a “wise guy”. Perhaps it was VALIS, or some VALIS like entity once again intervening or influencing my reality and thoughts. As the title of the book suggests, there may be layers upon layers of Truth. Will we ever get to it? It is interesting, but I don’t let that particular experience keep me awake at night. There’s no shortage of other things that do that.
There is one instance, a vague memory (not in the same way as the “collaborating” scenarios… the qualia, or subjective quality, is more like an actual distant memory, possibly shared… well, obviously shared if it was real at all). I remember walking on a road or sidewalk on the right side of the road. I was discussing A Scanner Darkly with a man with butterscotch hair on my left. On the opposite side of the road (to our left) was a group of shops and to my right was a small park with benches. A family of three was sitting at one of the benches. I just can’t shake this memory, whether I fabricated it myself or I was seeing through the eyes of Phil, or someone else discussing the novel.
During this period of Fall 2002 I had many dreams, a few of which I’d like to share. In one dream, I was standing next to T in the living room looking at the wall shielding us from the outside. It was transparent and I could clearly see in detail objects outside the trailer. I was moving my arms in the air like a conductor in an orchestra and I was rearranging fragments of reality much like a jigsaw puzzle. Piecing everything in its proper place. Realigning. I remember in the dream having the feeling that it was absolutely necessary that I proceed with those actions.
Around the same time frame I had a dream in which I was standing in front of a door shape impression in my living room. The dimensions were similar to what could be called a “golden rectangle”. There were no distinct borders or outline of the door, but I could tell it was there. It was more like a ripple or distortion opposed to the matter around it. Within the door I saw a circle with about 7-8 concentric bands orbiting the center. The rings were all the same width. Each ring or band was split into 4-6 sections that seemed to have been stroked with a paint brush connection. Each segment was a different pastel color. I peered inside the door frame and the circle appeared three dimensional like a sphere as well as the space around it. I walked around to the side and the back of the opening and there was only a single plane of existence.
The third and final dream that I’d like to share is both interesting and disturbing, and as with everything else may mean nothing. Friends of Phil’s, and I think family too, were visiting with me at the trailer I was living in at the time. We were exchanging theories as to just what the hell was going on and somehow it became the general consensus that I was the spirit of Jane, his twin sister who died just weeks after birth. When I awoke all I could think about was “Why was I the girl?”. I mean no disrespect to Jane or Phil, or anyone else for that matter. It was just my first reaction. Like Phil and I are involved in an eternal game of such. Whowhat is going to be who/what this time around? Believe me when I tell you, that I had never postulated that in all my theories that I could be Jane’s consciousness or spirit. Could this be why I remember certain parts of his novels like I had helped create them myself? Maybe we were like Edie and her brother Bill in Dr. Bloodmoney. To satisfy your curiosity, I do not believe that I am now or ever have been Phil’s sister, Jane. But, then again… who knows?
In November of 2002 I had ordered two books about Phil by Lawrence Sutin. The first one was an official biography and the second one was titled The Shifting Realities of Philip K Dick, which included some of Phil’s writings as well as a few essays from his Exegesis.
I began to read “The Ultra Hidden (Cryptic) Doctrine: The Secret Meaning of the Great System of Theosophany of the World, Openly Revealed for the First Time”. Say that ten times as fast as you can! In this essay Phil uses his syncretic abilities to mix religions and mythic systems to come up with a possible “system of how the World works”. Isn’t is funny how he goes to extreme in making light of his title within the title itself? Could we expect anything less of Phil. That’s his style, man. That being said, I believe this to be one of the most important if not THE most important of his nonfiction works.
Phil claims to use the “highest sources” in coming to this conclusion, those sources consists of many of the worlds religious doctrines in an attempt to explain 2-3-74. His sensationally revolutionary occult doctrine he has derived is essentially this (and I have to paraphrase here due to copyright issues, although I do encourage you to purchase the book):
Phil begins by claiming that we are in a state of being “like dead” but aren’t aware of it, and we are reliving a portion of our former lives as if someone has pressed “rewind” and we are starting over at a certain point in time. This is almost a closed cycle in which we keep reliving this portion of our lives until we can add enough good karma to tip the scales of justice in our favor.
The above paragraph is a paraphrased version of the first page of Phil’s essay. While reading this passage, I was sitting comfortably on the couch with my legs crossed in a lotus like position. S was playing on the floor and watching TV. T was on the computer. As I read this section I experienced déjà vécu so pronounced that I nearly panicked. Everything… me reading that particular section of this essay in his Exegesis, sitting on the couch in the same manner, S and T doing what they were doing. It was such a surreal moment. I was a veteran déjà vécu experiencer at that point, but this was almost too much. Experiencing déjà vécu while reading something that implies déjà vécu. Later in the essay Phil claims that VALIS rarely shows itself, and it does show itself to one, then VALIS will make the situation covert, so that as few entities as possible know of it.
So VALIS will indeed obscure any communication or relationship with it. This is of course, to protect our potentiality, of ending suffering some time or another. If too many people know about it, then the knowledge will impede upon our reawakening, and we may all be doomed to repeated cycling, for all eternity. This may be the Law, and may not be capable of being undone. Do I really believe this? I don’t know. I try to think otherwise. If this is the case, would I change it if I was capable? I don’t know that either. In this system, everyone is given more than one chance to help others… to be Boddhivistas.
So… are we (Phil and myself, and possibly others) insane, or is VALIS obscuring the situation? And if the latter, what am I/we supposed to do? Why am I having all these experiences? I’m still trying to work that one out. It’s quite a conundrum.
I think it could have been later that night or the next night, but I was reading some more about Phil, the part where he and one of his wives see the “older” Phil at the foot of their bed. In my mind I said, “Goddammit, Phil, why won’t you show your self to me? Give me a sign or something… show me you’re here.” Out of nowhere, my large orange tabby cat, Darwin (I don’t think he’ll mind me giving his name… he’s still alive by the way), who was laying on the bed beside me, wrapped his teeth around my wrist. I had to give him a light whack to get him to let go. This was the first time he had ever done this, as T will attest to, as well. Later we found out he was most likely in heat, and this behavior had began as a result. Male cats will sometimes link onto the females neck by biting them while mating. Well, we had that fixed quickly. Was that my sign? Gee, thanks Phil!
Reading Phil’s novels and relating to the characters really had an effect on me. They by no means cured me of all my ills, but if the characters in Phil’s novels could find a way to live in their often spurious realities, then so could I. I also found a greater sense of purpose. Previously I was in an internship at a local hospital for Clinical Laboratory Science, but had to drop out due to both physical (lower back issues) and mental issues. Luckily I had been given an extension to complete the program where I left off the following year, which would be February 2002. I was ready to go back to work part time. T still worked for a contractor at P&G in Cape Girardeau, and I used to work there part time as an undergraduate before I began grad school. This facility is responsible for making toilet paper and paper towels. As a contract employee through Manpower, we had the more menial jobs. Quite often, there would be a lot of downtime. I had an unbelievable urge to begin writing my own fiction, especially as a means of catharsis. My very first story which is about 16-17k words, was written on the back of packing slips from bulk material. There were a few guys also working for Manpower as temp employees who read quite a bit of science fiction. I asked for a general opinion of my story from one of these guys (I’ll call him M). Once finished he told me what he thought, and proceeded to ask me if it was already published because it seemed to him like he had read “Sub-U” before. It hadn’t been because I had just written it, but he was still enthused.
I can’t remember if it was the same night or a few nights later, but he relieved me for break in one area of the factory where only one person was needed. As I was walking back to the station, he nodded and walked to his next work station. When I walked over to the chair where we sat when we weren’t actively involved in work, there was a 1 X 2 foot section of cardboard with the word “Master” leaning against the back of the chair staring at me, written with a black sharpie. “WTF!?” was all I could think. Why did he write that? Was it for me? Did he remember something from the future that I didn’t? Do I have little minions running about? If it was directed at me, did he mean it in a more benign fashion? I hope so… the thought of my very own minions is not necessarily a pleasant one for me. I admit… I know “something” is going on, but I didn’t sign up for this. Maybe he is crazy, too.
I began a job in March 2003 as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Medical Technologist) at a nearby hospital. Pay and benefits were really good. We moved into a nice house and T began nursing school. Things calmed somewhat, although I still experienced déjà vécu now and then. Almost always, they are at key times or situations. Hardly ever was it a random event.
The next prominent déjà vécu I experienced was while watching Matrix: Reloaded at the theater in May 2003. This is the second movie of a trilogy, starring Keanu Reeves as Neo. I’m assuming most of you who are reading this is familiar with the trilogy, so I’ll spare you a background summary. I experienced another profound déjà vécu moment at a very interesting point in the movie. Again, I went to see this movie with no expectations of any kind except that of watching a good movie. When Neo goes to the Machine Source within the Matrix, the white room in which the Architect is sitting surrounded by television sets. The Architect is informing Neo on what exactly his function as “The One” is and how Zion will be destroyed for the 6th time. Neo is told that he has a choice between saving Trinity and risking Zion’s total destruction or going through the other door and starting Zion over. I’m not going to go into philosophical implications at this time, as this isn’t the proper forum. However, important to me is that while Neo is viewing all the different “versions” of himself on the televisions (multiple scenes of each version of Neo bitching about their precarious situation. I mean… who wouldn’t?) I am slammed with a déjà vu experience. How interesting it is that I have these déjà experiences at key moments. It’s like there is a meta-mind controlling this reality, the koinos kosmos. VALIS or some other intervening agency, perhaps?
Things were relatively mild for a few years until I began working for a traveling healthcare agency as a contract employee in October 2007. A new surge of interesting things began to happen then.