“…somebody comes into the house to install this red box-like machine. It has a red button on it to set it and turn it on. I somehow manage to program it with the power or gravitational pull or energy of “trillions” of suns or other measurements. I have no idea how I did this—but it is bad. A man that looks like Pres. Obama is there, and he is highly alarmed that I did this. I want to leave the room before it “explodes”…there is this eerie energy/force-field coming off of it. We suddenly run out of the room, but the energy/force fills the house…warping time & possibly reality. As we try to leave the house, we see other “versions” of ourselves run through the house; these are possibly versions of us from slightly earlier (or later) in time. It’s like what happens when an event like a black hole happens. Time itself is being warped…linear time is being revealed for what it really is.”
–dream, January 19 2015
(sync: literally as I write this, a sketch on Saturday Night Live comes on featuring a box with a red button)
The Obama character is Al Hammond, and the explosion is the instigating incident that sets the elements of the plot in motion: that the characters are blasted into a strange “half-life” existence where time itself seems to be “devolving” and retreating. One character in particular, Pat Conley (who I feel a personal identification with; not a super-endorsement of me by any means but we’re all friends here), has the rare ability to go back in time, alter it, and create subtle after-effects back in reality. Another, Jory (who is extremely similar to a character I created for a book), can create multiple identities as well as entire simulated worlds within the half-life just like a video game.
And so in Ubik, a book written in 1969, we have the following concepts laid out for us:
- The breakdown/”end” of time
- Mandela Effect
- Reality as a simulation
- Alternate timelines
- Multiple realities happening at the same time
Dick had this belief that the “end of time” was immanent; not in a “Doomsday” kind of way, but that Time was going to “break down” and literally going to be made irrelevant.
Per his Exegesis (in a passage I quoted in my journal exactly four years ago tomorrow):
“Re the Bowie film, and the little boy on the raft floating toward England; the divine child won’t be born, but rather smuggled in, like a cuckoo’s egg in a host nest, disguised as a—human? Terrestrial? Evading ‘Scotland Yard’—i.e., the authorities. Extraterrestrial? No. It has to do with time, and he can mix his world in and out with ours, like with a mixing board. Space and time both. But he is an invader—but God knows from where or when—but another planet. The future? And/or an alternate world?
I have a strong feeling that the savior of us all is about to be smuggled into our midst unnoticed, to mingle with us as an ordinary human, which he is not. But where or when he comes from I do not know…
It is St. Sophia’s return: God’s wisdom to Earth, for the second time, and this time he or she will be acceptable: will prevail. I am afraid because it is an awesome holy mystery and event, the most important since the first advent, abolishing counterfeit time and destroying the prison, freeing us and restoring us to what we once were and are supposed to be. I feel the terrible and vast majesty of the divine close at hand…
…the whole world will be drawn together by this, the universal divine Savior. He awakens now; he is nearing the shore—like King Arthur, returning from across the sea, to reclaim his rightful throne in the kingdom, on the silent, flat barge, with the sword Azoth…
The eye of Shiva is upon us: herdsman and destroyer. Time is ending, literally. Reality will be exposed and all will become known: disclosed openly, and weighed.”
Watched a Terence McKenna video at random that assured me that my Prozac will absolutely not get in the way of me having a positive experience on psychedelics.
Not going to trip on psychedelics any time soon…indeed, I’m deathly afraid to take an Advil PM for fear I will get a contraindication…but it’s good to know.
Just a quick added note about Ubik…I familiarized myself with Dick’s VALIS trilogy a while ago, but kept Ubik at arm’s-length until now. I feel that you have to just be “ready” for certain books. Ubik is unsettling in a way that is beyond the VALIS trilogy. I almost feel as if with the trilogy, PKD felt he had finally found some “answers”…but Ubik doesn’t offer that same sense of certainty, of a tangible-type “messiah” figure.
“Ubik” itself might be the messiah…but what is it, really?
Today is the birthday of director David Lynch. In honor of such, here are my top 5 favorite creepy Lynch scenes:
5. “In Dreams,” Blue Velvet
An unusually pale Dean Stockwell lip-synching to “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison. Dennis Hopper announces he will fuck anything that moves. Good times. Joy ride!
4. “Oh, You ARE Sick!,” Eraserhead
This movie has tons of creepy scenes, but the sudden jump-scare reveal here made me inexplicably laugh (which is maybe creepy as well).
3. “Mystery Man,” Lost Highway
When a pasty-faced maniacally-smiling Robert Blake tells you he is simultaneously both standing in front of you and in your house, you are FUCKED.
2. The Last Scene, the original Twin Peaks TV series
This is just one big spoiler, so I originally was just going to link to it. But God knows, I just ruined the entire twist of Ubik for you, so FUCK it. A short clip, but SUPER disturbing every time I see it—with the trademark Lynch jump-scare/sudden rise in volume.
1. “Winkie’s Diner Scene,” Mulholland Drive
The gold-standard of weird scenes in David Lynch movies, with a jump-scare that literally gets me EVERY SINGLE TIME (because I’m anticipating it, but I’m always off by a couple of seconds). A slow build, but worth it.
Oh, I had SO much more I wanted to write today—I’ve completely veered off the humble list of topics that I had jotted down on my pad. I do hope you will forgive me, dear readers. Have a good Sunday.