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Lot #339
Philip K. Dick Typed Letter Signed

"My model is that of a computer or computer-like entity...Pat, this is the first model I've had confidence in!"

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"My model is that of a computer or computer-like entity...Pat, this is the first model I've had confidence in!"

TLS signed “Love, Phil,” one page, 8.5 x 11, April 15, 1981. Letter to science fiction author Patricia Warrick, in full: "Enclosed a carbon of what may be a resolution of my seven years of attempting to construct a model of reality; by ‘reality’ I mean God in or God and the universe; what Erigena called natura. This solution came to me in a series of recent sleep revelations, that is, hypnagogic and hypnopompic insights where I actually saw how the system works. (Universe and God regarded, as Spinoza does, as one and the same.) My model is that of a computer or computer-like entity — well, look at the enclosed page; it is pretty much complete.

You'll be pleased to see how it relates both to Taoism and to computers. This may be it, Pat. Initially I had a vision of reality as a rapid procession of static, discrete frames replacing each other at enormous velocity; we turn these frames — each of which is unique, slightly different from the one before it and the one following it — into a continuous flow by means of the modem we call causality. But in fact ‘causality’ is illusory; our minds project it onto the procession of discrete frames in order to Connect them into a flow. This is a necessary modem, for otherwise we will not be able to discern the constants (eide, Forms) within the procession of frames; all would be chaotic flux to us, without the modem of causality. The system is thinking, but it thinks (as I say on the enclosed page) during its off or non-being void phase of the binary pulse-flicker, so we're totally unaware of it thinking. Our reality is shot full of information, both quantitative (bits) and qualitative (constructed/converted out of the bits). Pat, this is the first model I've had confidence in! The system continually makes tentative faulty choices, cancels them, substitutes a better — i.e. correct — choice which is the next on frame. Let me know what you think.” In fine condition.

Accompanied by the original mailing envelope and the referenced enclosed carbon, headed “April 15, 1981. Sleep insight.,” which reads, in full: “Hartshorne pantheism the E.B. macro. A. F. Whitehead's process deity. We are within it (the MMSK), as interconnections, but organic model is incorrect. It is a signalling system, mutually adjusting (this is what Pythagoras saw). 0 - 1 flicker rate (misinterpreted by me as time frames); actually it's binary. Tries out a false move (0), then corrects to 1 which is actualized in/as the next discrete ‘frame.’ Has the effect of separate frames due to the off-on pulsation; discrete: isn't - is, nonbeing - being. The system shuts off every trillionth of a second (0). These are decisions. After each off (0) when it switches back on to 1 the ‘frame’ (reality) is different (in terms of internal arrangement, adjustment, mutual adjustment, interaction/interconnection, as information flows through its circuits.

Boehme: yes - no. Hartshorne 0 - 1. Quantitative (0 - 1) converted to qualitative by spatiotemporal reality itself; that is, quantitative information is poured into material reality within which and by which it is converted into qualitative information.

While it's off, reality ceases to be. When it comes back on it is slightly different. It (the system) doesn't transmit a zero bit; it (the system) ceases to be. This is when it makes a tentative move which it then cancels in favor of a better move; at every junction (trillionth of a second, flicker rate) it discards an inferior move in favor of a better one; hence Leibnitz's view that ‘this is the best of all possible worlds’ (this is a rapid selection process). This is how a computer works. The zero position is the void; hence when I conceive of God as VALIS I am only getting the 1; I need also the void, the zero. To comprehend/apperceive/envision the void is to envision the other phase (zero phase) of the flicker binary pulsation, the sum of the two phases being the totality. Thus the Muslims are correct; the universe is destroyed ‘every day’ (actually every trillionth of a second) ‘and re-created.’ But what is interesting to me is that the way I conceive of this, all its decisions are made during the ‘spaces’ that we are totally unaware of. It comes back on, back into being, back to the 1 phase when it has tried out a faulty solution and has substituted a better (the best possible?) instead, which is the next ‘time frame.’ Thus its decision-making processes, i.e. its thinking, and its nonbeing phase, lie outside our awareness. The initial false move that it tries out during its zero phase is Boehme's no, and the 1 or on phase is Boehme's yes. So my envisioning is essentially Boehme's, updated in terms of computers and information-processing systems. The similarity to the Taoist alternation of yin and yang is very obvious.”

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #680 - Ended December 06, 2023

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