inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #101 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Sun 9 Jan 00 16:38
    
Well, at least we are proving the observation that all conversations,
if extended long enough, eventually get around to Philip K. Dick.

John wrote: "There's no doubt that Phil was a genius and a great
artist and even a man with real spiritual insight."

I agree. And I also agree that it is possible that the 1974 pink beam
incident(s) were caused by a stroke (or a drug reaction or some other
non-cosmic factor) and also possible that his drug use over the years
had affected his mental balance. 

So, I wouldn't take, say, VALIS's notions at face value. I personally
wouldn't build a religion around his "revelations". But I've always
thought it fascinating how they kind of paralleled early gnostic themes
and that PKD's flashes were so Dickian in style...;-)
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #102 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 9 Jan 00 23:58
    

Would you say more about how Phil's revelations paralleled early gnostic
themes?

Also, he was *always* paranoid.  Not just sometimes.  Once he concocted
this fabulously complex scheme around purchasing hamburgers from Carl's
and using the bags they came in as decoys to throw the plain clothes cops
in the cars parked along our street off the trail.  
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #103 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Mon 10 Jan 00 07:45
    
Carl, of Carl's Jr. is a supporter of right-wing causes, just to add
another twist to the Dickian paranoia.

This conversation is extremely interesting; have had a hard time
trying to figure out what to stick in, even edgeways.

I am obviously a mere infant in understanding the world of PKD
compared to you folks. But just from reading Valis, yes, I would say he
does seem to have seriously contemplated the idea that he was losing
his mind.

Gnosticism - at least in the forms that we know it - postulate a
complicated and intricate universe in which various "aeons" - rather
like gods or archangels - mediate between, and interfere with, our
understanding of the divine. The true God is close to inaccessible and
unknowable, but is always trying somehow to get through the noise. Like
Yahweh in _The Divine Invasion._

There is a perennial question about why Gnosticism never survived as 
a religion. This is easy to answer if you ever pick up an old Gnostic
text, like the _Pistis Sophia_ (meaning "Faith Wisdom"). It is so
convoluted as to be incomprehensible, like many of the things in the
Gnosis Nut Drawer (which Jay no doubt still has).

My own theory, which I haven't seen elsewhere in this form, is that
Gnostic teachings in the first century were much simpler and closer to
other forms of Christianity: the Apostle Paul was probably the seminal
thinker of the Gnostic line. By the second century, minor differences
had evolved into major ones, and the petty squabbling that we see hints
of in Acts and the Epistles had turned into the denunciations we find
in Irenaeus. And later on, of course, persecution.

As Gurdjieff so memorably put it, "Sooner or later it all ends in
people breaking one another's heads."
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #104 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Mon 10 Jan 00 09:24
    
Looks like Linda and I were writing our last postings at the same
time. Slippage, as they say. And now there's yet more!

To go back to your question, Linda:
"can you address the part about where spirituality stops and the
supernatural begins?  I'm afraid that what I'm thinking of may be
stepping into the region of the supernatural and out of the spiritual."

I personally don't have much use for the term "supernatural," as I
consider any phenomena that it usually encompasses to also be within
Nature and the natural. Auras aren't supernatural, it is just that most
people can't see them and there aren't clear cut scientific
instruments that can reliable detect them yet, either. Even things
involving other planes of existence (or planes of consciousness) I
don't consider to be supernatural. In some of those cases, earth-bound
science may never manage to prove or measure them instrumentally, but I
don't see them as *violating* the laws of Nature...rather, the laws
haven't been widened enough, yet, to encompass those phenomena or
locales.

So, I would consider your God experiences (whether under the influence
of drugs or not) to be "valid" insofar as you felt a mind/body state
that had a meaning for you. I don't think it is anyone's business to
try and pick that apart or invalidate it. 

I haven't had ghost experiences but I have friends who are having them
at their house right now. I take a more open-minded view of them than,
say, Tim Powers seems to in his inkwell.vue topic. He uses them in his
fiction but seems to dismiss them otherwise. However, I think it is
possible that souls either get lost or stay earthbound temporarily
after death OR that there is a decaying shell of personality that can
continue on after the soul or spirit goes to higher frequencies. Either
way, it can account for ghosts. 

As for Gnosticism, in addition to Richard's remarks above, you might
actually want to check out my chapter on Gnosticism in "Hidden Wisdom"
(remember *that*?) which gives a fairly concise summary of it. I could
say more here, now, but I have to go take my morning shower and get
rolling for the day.  Heh...
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #105 of 143: Lenny Bailes (jroe) Mon 10 Jan 00 18:03
    
I've gone through a lot of thought on the "God speaking," "Trees
talking," "ghosts talking," issue.   I also believe that the
chemistry of the brain can kick into a hyperkinetic state where we
may simply become conscious of the synapses, rhizomes, and whatever
sending messages back and forth.   When we experience the sensation
of a Presence outside of ourselves communicating directly to an
inner center, we may simply be experiencing some kind of synaesthesia
where the typical electrical signals that get sent to the brain are
interpreted in an unusual manner.   Then again, there may really be
something outside that originates the stimulus, which normally we're
too dense to receive.

The thing I like in PKD's gnosticism is the idea that God may be
evolving along with the human race.  If there really was an angry 
Old Testament type deity that caused the Big Bang, It/He/She
may gradually be evolving into something different.  Of course,
Dick changes his mind about that, a lot.  Sometimes he embraces
the concept of an evolving sense of Caritas and sometimes he
suggests that there was a "good" God in the beginning who lost
control of things to a powerful Idiot Deity.  (If He could just 
wake up and reassert Himself, things would be much better....)
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #106 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Tue 11 Jan 00 07:20
    
Lenny, if you are interested in the notion of an evolving deity, you
might want to check out Jung's _Answer to Job,_ which is saying
something like that. There is apparently a similar notion in Alfred
North Whitehead, though I've never read his works.

As for the notion of God speaking, etc., perhaps this could all be
turned around slightly. You could view God not as that which is
speaking, but as that in you which is listening. That which is
conscious and aware. This is, I believe, what esoteric traditions as
diverse as Advaita Vedanta, Dzogchen, and esoteric Christianity are
trying to say.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #107 of 143: Lenny Bailes (jroe) Tue 11 Jan 00 11:53
    
I'm thinking that it might be easy to pick up on prime cellular
directives and experience them as the Voice of God.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #108 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 11 Jan 00 13:39
    

Another thing that Phil talked about was the Matreiya.  Am I spelling that
correctly?

I still don't know what, or who, that is.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #109 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Tue 11 Jan 00 23:47
    
As far as I can tell, (and this is a shallow gloss), the Maitreya is a
reincarnation of Buddha. Benjamin Creme - a latter-day disciple of
Alice Bailey - has been claiming that Maitreya has returned and is
living in London is the body of an East Indian. I think PKD picked up
on Creme's PR way back when (he's been at it for 20 or more years)...

BTW, speaking of PKD...check out
http://www.apbnews.com/media/gfiles/pdick/index.html?s=emil for a
peculiar "breaking news" item about the break-in at PKD's place in
Marin, nearly 30 years ago. Strange.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #110 of 143: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 12 Jan 00 05:29
    
"I would not consider him paranoid at all."

Sounds like Elaine Sauter should speak with Linda...
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #111 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Wed 12 Jan 00 08:31
    
The original Maitreya is supposed to be the Buddha-to-come. That is,
there are supposed to be an endless chain of Buddhas who are due to
come and bring the Dharma to us.

Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, is the latest, according to
Buddhist teaching; Maitreya is the next one due.

Interestingly, Maitreya is apparently due to be born in the West, and
accordingly Buddhist iconography portrays him as sitting in a chair.
Quite a relief for those of us who could never stand sitting
cross-legged...
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #112 of 143: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Wed 12 Jan 00 08:45
    
Sort of like a Buddhist second coming, which doesn't really align as
well with my own soto/suzuki-influenced perception of Buddhism. Maybe
Stephen Hawking is Maitreya?
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #113 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 12 Jan 00 13:31
    
"Due to be born in the West" sounds like he ain't here yet, with or
without his chair.

Thanks for these insights into the Matreiya.  Very interesting.  Perhaps
my next tangent.

As for the article about Phil, I've certainly heard a lot about that
break-in - anybody who spent any time at all with Phil has heard about it
- but the first time I've heard about the syphilis connection.  It sounds
like Elaine Sauter has only heard about him second-hand and never actually
tried to have a conversation with him.  Or, if she did, she never had a
second conversation with him.  Sometimes he could hold it together pretty
well for a while.  Also, he never moved to Canada.  He did go there -
that's where he was when I wrote that silly, ill-fated letter - but he did
not move there.  His stuff was still in Marin County.  And, he was at a
drug treatment facility, called X-Kalay, but he never copped - to me at
least - to being there for drug treatment.  He had some other reason I
can't think of at the moment.

The man has been dead for nearly 20 years and he's still making news!

Speaking of Phil, I also ran across a web site that allegedly shows photos
of all the houses he lived in in the Bay Area.  The guy who wrote the web
site said that some of what he put on the site was factual, the photos for
instance, and some of it was made up.  Probably the part where Phil was a
big Raiders fan and Al Davis would come and pick him up and take him to
games.

I do want to know more about the Matreiya, though.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #114 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Wed 12 Jan 00 22:02
    
Linda,

More info than you probably want on Maitreya, et al, at:
http://www.shareintl.org/

Regarding PKD and paranoia: Since one of things I always appreciated
about his novels was that they artistically captured the "feel" of
paranoia, it is hardly surprising that he was at that borderland
himself. 

Of course, what exactly *is* paranoia? Psychiatric explanations aside,
it has seemed to me that, in a sense, most religion is a form of
"positive" paranoia. "There's an unseen order to things which is
ultimately benign." Just the flip side of the paranoid "there's an
unseen order to things which is out to get me."
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #115 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 13 Jan 00 13:05
    

Thanks for the link, Jay!

> Of course, what exactly *is* paranoia? Psychiatric explanations aside,
> it has seemed to me that, in a sense, most religion is a form of
> "positive" paranoia. "There's an unseen order to things which is
> ultimately benign." Just the flip side of the paranoid "there's an
> unseen order to things which is out to get me." 

That's a provocative thought.  It could answer a lot of questions.  In
Phil's case, though, it was combined with some sort of psychological
damage, or perhaps a chemical imbalance.

The results were certainly interesting, but best seen from a safe
distance once removed - like reading about it.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #116 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Thu 13 Jan 00 14:23
    
Except, of course, that the Share International link is about the Ben
Creme guy who is supposedly in London and not about the Maitreya of
Buddhism (I'm assuming, since I haven't checked out the site). I don't
know much about the role of Maitreya in Buddhist thought. My impression
is that he is not a heavy area of interest, though occasionally one
sees statues, etc., of him (seated in a chair, of course).
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #117 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 13 Jan 00 19:09
    

Oh?  I haven't had a chance to really read the link, just glanced through
it.  Who is Ben Creme and why is he masquerading as the Matreiya?
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #118 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Thu 13 Jan 00 21:45
    
Benjamin Creme is a clairvoyant who channeled messages from Maitreya
for many years and became a kind of self-appointed spokesman. He has
made various predictions about the appearance of the Maitreya and
published a photo of someone who he claims is him. 

It was Creme's Maitreya who Dick was intrigued by. There was a period
there in the mid-70s when Dick was fascinated by a number of such
pretenders to cosmic significance. 
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #119 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 14 Jan 00 12:58
    

You have no idea how much it saddens me that I can't talk to Phil directly
about this stuff any more.  I used to talk to him about once a month on
average, and after he died I'd find that I had a whole month's worth of
stuff stored up and nowhere to put it.  I'm not sure when that stopped,
but I notice it has.

This is not something I would have been interested in when he was still
alive.  Now that I am, I wish I could get his perspective on things.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #120 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Sat 15 Jan 00 09:00
    
Ben Creme is not himself pretending to be Maitreya. Just channeling
him. For me this whole thing very much falls in the area of something
that is probably - indeed certainly - not true from a surface point of
view. But there may be something of value in it under the surface.

It falls into the category of Mme. Blavatsky's Mahatmas and other
Hidden Masters. Very much a two-edged sword. These figures are elusive,
of course - but then what would you do if you were really a Master?
Would you want to be out there with idiots from _Us_ magazine trying to
snag an interview, asking about your sexual tastes and what kind of
bottled water you like to drink?
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #121 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Sat 15 Jan 00 22:14
    

What's your take on channelers in general?  

I have some really mixed feelings about them.  I've had several
experiences with a number of channelers and only one of them really seemed
to be the genuine article.  Or, let me phrase that another way, they all
seemed to be putting something out there that may or may not have been
some other entity, but only one of them was channeling something that
seemed worth spending the time to listen to.  And one was appallingly
evil.

In fact, I even took a channeling class, back when metaphysical centers
were more abundant than they are today.  I'm not at all convinced that
this is something you can teach people to do.  At least not in a 4 week
course.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #122 of 143: Jay Kinney (jay) Sun 16 Jan 00 00:01
    
The central question with channeling is whether the information or
perspective "coming through" is from a source external to the channeler
or is derived from the channeler's unconscious (or, perhaps, their
higher self)...

Just because someone might be receiving information from a separate
entity doesn't mean that the material received is true or free of
mischievous entent. I view a lot of the channeling that has gone on as
being comparable to turning on the radio and flipping from station to
station. Here's NPR....zzzt....here's Rush Limbaugh....zzzt...here's
Pearl Jam....zzzt....here's a Beach Boys oldie...  One needs to apply
the same common sense and discernment to channeled material that one
would to the car radio.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #123 of 143: Richard Smoley (smoley) Sun 16 Jan 00 08:31
    
I agree with Jay about this. There is _some_ channeled material that
is of very high quality indeed; I'm thinking particularly of _A Course
in Miracles._ Possibly also the Seth material by Jane Roberts, though I
haven't read much of it.

Then there is the large bulk of printed and published channeled
material, which is usually quite interesting and often quite positive,
but not exactly mind-blowing.

I don't see the question of "coming through" in quite the same way as
you do, Jay. It seems to me that the further one goes deeper into one's
own mind, the more one is likely to make contact with universal and
collective forces. This is what Jung was trying to say, I believe. So
the more personal one gets, in a sense, the more impersonal...
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #124 of 143: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 16 Jan 00 15:43
    

I thought Jay's analogy was an apt one - you *might* get a cosmic Rush
Limbaugh!  And I agree that discernment is important.  I was quite
fascinated and distressed when I went to my first channeling event in a
living room in Corona del Mar, and it was filled with people who seemed to
be listening raptly and taking it all in wholesale, while I was as
uncomfortable as hell.  I was able to confirm that my discomfort was
appropriate for me - I found some flyers on a table announcing a joint
event between that channeler and someone I knew whose motives were
definitely suspect.  I was pleased to learn once again that I could trust
my inner sense, whatever it is.

The other thing that struck was that all the channelers seem to use
similar language.  They all used a phrase like, "I want to say," or "I
want to tell you."  I thought that was kinda odd.
  
inkwell.vue.58 : Jay Kinney and Richard Smoley _Hidden Wisdom_
permalink #125 of 143: you *might* get a cosmic Rush Limbaugh (jberger) Sun 16 Jan 00 19:55
    
(and a new pseud is born...)
  

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