Philip K. Dick, Sci-Fi Philosopher
Philip K. Dick is the author of 44 published novels, including “The Man in the High Castle” and “VALIS.” His works have been the basis for commercial Hollywood films such as “Blade Runner” and “The Adjustment Bureau.”
Simon Critchley, Hans Jonas professor of philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, is writing a three-part series for the Stone forum of the “New York Times.” The Stone is a forum for contemporary philosophers on issues both timely and timeless.
In part one, Professor Critchley explores Dick’s “golden fish” event. Dick experienced a revelation when, after receiving sodium pentothal for an impacted wisdom tooth, spoke with a woman wearing a pendant of a golden fish, an ancient Christian symbol. Following the incident, Dick claimed direct intuition of the ultimate nature of what he called “true reality.”
Dick later wrote, “The fish sign causes you to remember. Remember what?…Your celestial origins; this has to do with the DNA because the memory is located in the DNA…You remember your real nature…The Gnostic Gnosis: You are here in this world in a thrown condition, but are not of this world.