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A new practice for the new year:
Instead of saying, "I feel calm." I will try to say, "I am wading through calm." or better yet, "Calm is streaming by now."
Imagine emotions as intermixing fluid fields. Directly perceive the form of the fields. Study the eddies.
Swimming in an ocean of calm.
Waves contract near shore.
What feelings come from deeper waters?
Tumbling in the waves.
The view from underwater.
|Reentering the flow of phylogons.|
|Foam on the ocean. A mass of ideas from which only a limited set can be studied simultaneously. I'd have to say a fairly typical day in the studio.|
|After the end and before the beginning, in the interstitial days before routines are firmly established, the glow of ocean time lingers, priorities are not yet set, and everything is still up in the air. This is a gap in the cycle; moments open and intentions variable.|
Aligning frames. By some strange coincidence last fall, the time when I was exploring and defining phylogons just happened to be the moment that the book, "The Exegesis of Philip K Dick", was published. This book exposes over 800 pages of his notes, letters and speculations that later formed the basis of his novels. I equate this collection of subconscious outpouring to "The Red Book" of Carl Jung; which was also published not that long ago. There is now no shortage of material to sift through for anyone trying to compare patterns in subconscious emanation.
In the "Exegesis", there are more detailed notes on phylogons, certainly more than the three mentions in the "Divine Invasion". Also he sketches a context for phylogons and compares phylogons to ontogons. In the next few posts I am going to try to reconcile this new data from PKD's archive with what I've written about phylogons and see what I can learn from trying to fit these pieces together.
The stellar group of authors and scholars who edited the book "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick" - hereafter referred to as TE - assembled an annotated glossary, not only listing terms used in the book but also covering important people and related concepts. This seems like the logical place to start.
From the glossary:
phylogon: a neologism referring to a general principle or archetype.
PKD coins these two terms from the words "phylogeny" and "ontogeny" from the fields of evolutionary theory and depth psychology to describe the relationship between individual and species life.
This related definition was nearby:
More from "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick":
"A: The harmonious fitting-together of everything (every part) into the unitary beautiful."
I want to expand more on this transition dynamic, but before I can unpack his notes on the struggle for wholeness, I need to first try and describe the goal, the whole, or what PKD also refers to as VALIS (Vast Active Living Intelligence System). I mean really, he was so cut out to be a science fiction writer.
An entry written January 30, 1980 [82:1], puts these ideas together. In reference to VALIS...
He continues by considering VALIS in relation to the ontogons and phylogons.
I'm still looking into the ontogon/phylogon references in "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick." I believe this next quote [49:1119] raises an interesting question about how far PKD conflates ontogons, humans and matter.
This description of the compounding of information from information not only sounds like the endless recombinations of ideas we read on the internet (this site included) but it resonates on a deeper level with a quote from a 1991 Terrence McKenna lecture,
And what is the end game here? McKenna saw an eschaton, a culmination to the growth, and a birth of consciousness into something new. For PKD, the end is elusive, uncertain and even more complicated...
The sections of PKD's notes that deal with 'the end' are concerned with a paradox: the 'greatest good' cannot restore itself without inflicting intolerable suffering on what it has created. [God can't be whole again without destroying creation] These notes have the tension of a crisis reminiscent of the tension and paranoia in most of PKD's novels. He must have lived with this twisted uncertainty, always trying to find the right way back to unity, always looking for one more bit of hope. In regards to the 'greatest good' finding reunification without total destruction, he points to a solution:
The way I read his argument, each ontogon that awakens, repairs the universe a tiny bit, but not until all ontogons awaken to their true nature is the universe fully whole again. This is a concept found in descriptions of the Bodhisattva, a being who can reach nirvana but instead returns to help others to the same goal; not wanting to be liberated until all beings are.
So PKD's hope for reunification without total destruction is an awakened creation that lives in harmony with the whole. Now that's an idea whose time has come!
Expanding the field. After finishing the exegesis, PKD processed his notes and a trilogy was published. These books have been described as three different interpretations of the same experience and because they seem very different I never quite understood why. Whatever arose from the events surrounding February 3, 1974, it was so layered and interconnected that it exceeded the scope of a single person's mind. Judging from the notes, three books were only the beginning of trying to convey the message.
The first book was called VALIS and dealt with the entity he described as the Vast Active Living Intelligence System. This entity, most closely representing God or at least the reality that encompasses us, was probably a good choice for where to start. The second book was The Divine Invasion which, I have already mentioned, is the only novel in which PKD published the term phylogon. I think the timing and use of this word in Divine Invasion makes more sense with the additional notes in TE. The phylogons, ontogons and VALIS are the characters that act out the safe transition to wholeness.
What woke me up and got me started piecing this thread together was the idea that emerged in last night's posting. What I glimpsed was that the essence of the ontogon to phylogon transition, the action that PKD saw as the universe's hope of saving its creation, was the work of the Bodhisattva. And then I remembered that the climax of the third book, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, centers around the Bodhisattva. This path, combining enlightenment and compassion, described in the book as happening to one man, one ontogon, is being used as a specific example for what PKD outlined as a macro scale transition to universal wholeness.
I have to say that closely reading the notes on phylogons in The Exegesis has certainly given me a great new appreciation for the multi-threaded and subtly layered writing of Philip K. Dick.
|Phylogon dissolution? What happens when an archetype becomes a cliche?|
|Breaking apart? Branching out? Is the phylogon phase finally giving way? Will we soon see the kind of change that happens only once every few years?|