78 thoughts on “The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick by R. Crumb from Weirdo #17

  1. Conclusions:

    1) There is no fucking solution.
    2) If there is a solution, there is no way to transmit it to others.
    3) Be happy, try to get rich and you will be able to fuck the most beautiful women in this fucking world.
    4) If you are unable to reach point 4, then you have two choices: Have a humble life, try to grow vegetables in a farm, or just jump from a tall build, bridge, have some CO, whatever.

    And don’t cry, nobody cares.

  2. it is what it is, warning signs of the stroke he died too soon. this cartoon is a revelation by the artist of the author who has articuled it in the best way that only he can do. the exposed dickhead.. loved it

  3. PKD was a very unstable man, obviously. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that PKD was right, and the Christian messiah was walking the earth at the time of PKD’s death-1982-well, here it is almost 32 years later…where is he? Sorry, but this nonsense, and way too much validity has been piled on to an absurdity. Enough, already.

  4. Jesus, William, you’re the only dick (as opposed to Dickhead) who I’ve ever heard from who thought we were convinced PKD was onto the literal Second Coming. Get over yourself.

  5. For fucks sake, what the hell are you discussing then?! At first, I thought the big deal was R. Crumb’s strip–which is very cool. I’ve been a fan since Zap Comix Number 01. That’s probably longer than you’ve been alive.

    Then, the whole thread shifted–your comment was especially priceless (in response to Yu’s also off-topic comment): “Possessed by WHAT, for Dobbs’ sake? That’s the key question.” Lol! Love the caps, nice touch. How old are you? 16?

    Look, kid, if you had half a brain, you’d realize that PDK was most likely a victim of late onset schizophrenia. Have you even read his Exegesis? You’re not only a moron, Philloz, you’re a prick. Grow up, twit.

    1. I could agree with you about schizophrenia except there are notable people troughout history that had visions, and were not schizophrenic at all. Emanuel Swedenborg who was magnificent engineer and actually designed the first flying airplane…William Blake , Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla…Everybody can experience visions the problem at times like with schizophrenics is how to control to overbearing intensity they can bring…In PKD case they seem to be not only powerful but of great significance (his child is a great example)!!!! Unfortunately his time was up… GREAT COMIC! LOVED IT!

  6. William: If you are so intelligent and experienced and wise, etc., how come you can’t express your insights and opinions without all of the juvenile name-calling, aggression, and insults?

    Anyway, thanks for posting this piece, Michael.

  7. @William, R.Crumb’s work is brilliant, as well as probably some of mr. Dick’s stuff. Still, it does not make for any authentic insight if you’re hearing the voices and they only declaim you the telephone book.

    To provide a couple of contrary examples: A Disease of Language (by Eddie Campbell on Alan Moore), City of Dreadful Night (by James “B.V.” Thomson – if you’re not that stupid to consider this being talked about Victorian London), Hymns to the Night (by Novalis – I’d be personally more excited if mr.Crumb deceides to draw this particular one). These are the visionaries, in that sense.

  8. @ Yu–I agree with you. R. Crumb’s work is considered brilliant by many, myself included. His early work in Zap Comix & other “underground” venues is legend. PKD was also a star of the underground scene, and yes, his work was often brilliant, as well.

    What bothers me is 90% of his entire body of work is being completely ignored. All anyone can talk about is the incident surrounding his so-called “awakening”. It’s so juvenile! Good grief, the man has a huge body of work, yet everywhere I go, all anyone wants to talk about is PKD’s “epiphany”.

    And that includes R. Crumb, himself. You know, Robert Crumb has his own agenda. Have you ever wondered why he chose Dick’s incident to turn out? You know he also illustrated the first 5 books of the Bible-the Torah? Crumb has a God fixation–the Hebrew version of god.

    You guys are getting played, and you don’t even have a clue. Crumb won’t do anything that doesn’t have to do with the Hebrew god, so don’t hold your breath.

  9. I’m not necessarily “so intelligent”, etc., etc., but I do how to follow a thread, and this ain’t it. My wisdom tells me to leave this to the likes of you all-fixated on a one dimensional version of PKD. So be it-adios, motherfuckers! /:-)

  10. Of course the Christ is here. He has to be adult enough to ascend when armageddon occurs so he is sure near grown up now. I wonder instead how Dick arrived at his conclusion.

  11. Not so sure what you’re afflicted with, William, but it’s not wisdom. As it stands, Zap #1 isn’t quite as old as I am, though I’ve no idea just what that is or is not supposed to prove to you, or why you have this perception that everyone else is clueless about PKD’s issues with undiagnosed mental illness – or how you can diagnose him post facto with “late onset schizophrenia,” for that matter.

    It’s profoundly bizarre how you patronizing deride me for allegedly not reading PKD’s Exegesis (I have) while not recognizing the dissonant notion of simultaneously deriding everyone else for being “fixated” on 3-4-74. You don’t have to ignore his vast library or work – I’ve been able to collect about half his output thus far – to find 3-4-74 interesting, especially since it dominated the last eight years of his life.

    The real mystery is why you find the speculation of others so personally unsettling – apparently reading FAR too much into even the most offhand, tongue-in-cheek statements – that you feel compelled to lash out angrily and aimlessly at anyone who dares give utterance.

  12. It seems that many of the above mentioned are written by basic men speaking about spirituality as a fashion, some kind of fun “stuff”.

    The worst comment is the one of “Jorge”, whose vision of the male gender is totally extreme: he reduces men to the most basic beings (or even “things”). What he wrote indeed reveals that he considers that a male is nothing but a megalomaniac phallus, wanting to have sex with as much women as possible (the last ones being then considered as objects), no matter the way to get it (for example, by becoming rich at any price, no matter how much destruction it can involve).

    I dare to think that we are more than that. And when it comes to spirituality, for those who face for true such “special” experiences, there’s no such way of thinking left. I’ve met many over time, in various countries, and I was not even looking for it: at first I didn’t take them seriously.

    But when it came to 2 close friends of mine, I became less ironical and discovered over time that, actually, many people have unusual experiences. But in our countries, such people would not dare to speak about their experiences, unless they know that you will respect their testimonial, not consider them as crazy, not judging them, and that you will not consider their experience as some kind of “fashion stuff”.

    Have a nice day

  13. All of it is true, like his books it is to far beyond your intellectual experience for you to understand. The bible, and modern physics both talk about these things in detail.

  14. I forgot to mention that of course they diagnosed Phillip as having a mental illness, that is what they do when they cannot explain a behavior. But Dick’s behavior was not deranged. He was experiencing something beyond our ken.

  15. The reference to Flow My Tears ( I not sure where that info comes from , maybe Rickman’s interview with him) is interesting. I read it but I experienced no mystical revelation,good story.I’ll have to re-read ….

  16. This describes a specific mystical state referred to as the Knowledge of the Holy Guardian Angel sought by magicians Crowley and Abramelin.

  17. “The walls in Plato’s cave is a hologram…” PKD 1974

    “The universe may best be described as a hologram.” String theory physicist, 2013.

  18. “they diagnosed Phillip as having a mental illness, that is what they do when they cannot explain a behavior.”

    That’s the kind of thing people who have no understanding of mental illness say.

  19. Imagine if you kept a scrupulous diary of you at your worst and best. Now imagine you are Philip K. Dick. Read ‘The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick’ to get a better idea what a freaking genius he was. If you do read this book, remember, he didn’t have a BA, Masters, or PhD, and he didn’t have google or the internet, just a set of encyclopedias. PKDick and I are some weird analog of one another, and on my internet site I wrote my own existential exegesis, where I tried to make sense out of similar experiences, grounding them in western science and philosophy as well as eastern philosophy. The key to understanding his experiences is, in my opinion, in his exegesis where he alludes to the fact the Logos he experienced was not the Logos of Judaism, but the pre-Socratic Logos of Heraclitus.

    1. You could both be right. He may have a fixation with the God/Old Testament while being an atheist:
      (from phone interview about Crumb transcribing the entire book of Genesis to comic book form “The Book of Genesis, Illustrated” )

      “I don’t think ‘Genesis’ is a good place to look for spiritual guidance or moral guidance,” he continues. “I don’t believe it’s the word of God.

      “At the same time,” he continues, “I think the stories are very powerful. I’m not out to ridicule them or belittle them.”

      Although done in the same, unmistakable style that Crumb has brought to such comic books as Zap, Weirdo and Dirty Laundry, “Genesis” is also surprisingly respectful, as well as faithfully loyal to the Bible’s original text.

  20. Are you really under the impression that cartoonists only work in what they believe in or think is real? God to an atheist is just fiction, they don’t deny the fact that organized religion exists whether it be based on truth or not. Atheist LOVE talking about religion. I find it quite ridiculous that an adult doesn’t know fiction from non fiction.

  21. Does anyone know where I can find the entire thing as narrated by Robert crumb? I saw the one one YouTube it’s about 9 minutes but it cuts off in the middle?

  22. It is verrry easy to tell that 90% of the commentators here have not read, or have little exposure to, the work of Philip K. Dick. These spiritual revelations and occurrences are writ out fairly accurately in his final trilogy, of which I’ve only read VALIS. This was enough, as it covers everything the Crumb comic covers and then some… Horselover Fat meets with the young Maitreya before severe tragedy strikes… it ends on note of defeatism, but it’s interesting enough that I would like to get around to the final two books which take the story further, The Divine Invasion, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. It does not represent PKD’s best work, but his most mysterious and personally layered writing.
    There’s a lot of noise makers on this board, casting their judgments about schizophrenia, “wisdom”, mental “illnesses”, and the validity of “mystical experience.” At the end of these days, your opinions are just receipts of your stupendous ignorance… these experiences are outside of your capacity to understand, and forever outside your tiny prejudices. Even as a passionate lover of PKD’s writing, a lot of it is just beyond my intelligence. I’ve no doubt that Dick experienced these things authentically, and that in the matter that all his writing suggests, even an unreal experience is no less real… reality is superimposed with inter-dimensional paradoxes and linear thinking will fail to sort out these threads every time. Expand your mind.

    1. I guess disconnected, conflicting, profound-seeming statements are hard to absorb.
      Philip K. Dick’s
      or this comment page’s.

    2. Have read a large part of Philip K. Duck’s works, including VALIS, Divine Invasion and the Transmigration, and I’ve no idea where you’re coming from. Yes, Phil had great ideas and some good stories. And some terrible ones. He was not some literary King Midas, turning everything he touched into gold.
      You rambling
      “At the end of these days, your opinions are just receipts of your stupendous ignorance… these experiences are outside of your capacity to understand, and forever outside your tiny prejudices.”
      Doesn’t make it a truth. You’re the one showing a ton of prejudice and a powerful feeling of superiority, while blasting your ignorance full in the face of us all.
      Why are you more right than me, if I’m an atheist and thinks Phil got a bit burnt by the drugs and might well have suffered some schizophrenical disease of the mind?
      What makes me ignorant and incapable? Isn’t it just as exactly likely that I’m right, Phil was a good writer, but so was Asimov. Neither were prophets or chosen ones or whatever, even though one claimed to and the other did not.
      Your arrogance is truly harrowing.

    1. Thanks, Dave! I just ordered both “IT” volumes: “Pieces in the Dark” and “Blue Angel Knight”.

  23. Mark, my prior comment is awful, but maybe You didn’t catch the intention, I know was poorly writen, but well, I’m not a good witer… That comment comes from irony and referes to our lack of capacity to solve the enigma of reality, and well how people take advantage of the matrix (powerful men seem to think that as long as tehy have money and women they will be happy, but at the end they’re just puppet) whatever it is… It is an existential joke for those that can’t fight or give up to this (simulated)reality… And I don’t know maybe when I post it I was mad because of the trap we interpret as a world, on the other side I’m not even sure I wrote it… Maybe it was another Jorge, I don’t know, I think that here (specially here) that’s a valid, right?

    On the other side, I want to point out that it seems that everyone here wants to descredit other opinions and appear like the ones that really know.

    1. Pure prose sir ..,,,the Exegesis is not for everyone, I see it as a call to arms, a truely alchemical process that is all inclusive, a necessary comingling of so many diverse attributes, our psychically charged churning of a personal collective myth…..the soul it seems has an idea but like all gteat artists is struggling to get it down on canvas, no blame as the Iching wouod say. Start again. Start again you are bound to succeed.

  24. Can anyone expound on the “cipher” and “prophetic message aimed at particular people” in FLOW MY TEARS? I’m having a hard time finding reference or explanation.

  25. IF you want an explanation on this IT the enigma of reality, what is really going on then please read this book IT – Pieces in the dark – which also explains the matrix concept along with technical and spiritual constructs in analogy form – its in a story format so makes it easier to get through.

    Chapter 1 starts off with the same form of cosmic conscious experience as PKD

    Thanks NIck



  26. PDK was a visionary, but he got one thing wrong: the Christ will never take a human body as vehicle again – at least not one of three I dimensional flesh and blood, and individual earthly identity. He is an Archangel of Sunlight and needs none such again. Be He born in all.

  27. “Late onset schizophrenia” If I did not know the likely origin of statements such as that I’d say it’s sad, but what’s truly schizoid is the paranoia induced pathologizing of western spirituality.

    To have separated us socially from the most important ‘6th’ sense intrinsic to the human condition is far beyond criminal, but totally understandable when one learns the fountain of knowledge it allows.

    People need to realize when someone walks into the Akashic records, as in the East, or stumbles which is usually the case in the west, cockroaches come out of the woodwork to defame, smear and generally attack the recipient.

    I’ve no doubt PK Dick was one such person and was likely murdered, not only for the profits to be gained, but to cut him off from the world as no one knew what next he’d harvest from the greatest “Fountain of Life”, some call the “Wisdom of the Son/Sun”, from the “Akashic records” into which he tapped.

    Big 3 modern assassination tools: 1) Car accidents, job often finished at the hospital as with Patton; 2) Heart attacks; 3) Strokes, and cancer, job often finished off by the ‘treatment’;)

    “Late onset schizophrenia”, it was likely a patient of that disease quite common in a certain tribe, that will not be named, that wrote that comment!

    Also, there exists a serious Judeo-Masonic “psyop” attack that involves stalking targets with fire trucks, cops and EMS vehicles to allow for similar claims that results in similar false diagnosis; this is from Jewish communism and described in “Gulag Archipelago”, “Under the Sign of the Scorpion” and Stasiland, by Anna Funder”

    Targets include government whistle blowers, victims of elite child trafficking and their parents who’ve become aware of same. It’s purpose is to attack their credibility and to stop them from coming forward with their knowledge of these crimes.

  28. What a beautiful blend of words and drawings. It “means” nothing outside of the experience I had reading it. Crumb edited it well and gave Mr. Dick a most generous hearing.

  29. I have read all but two of Dick’s novels, including the non-SF novels, four biographies, all of Gregg Rickman’s books on PKD and the original version of the Exegesis published by Underwood Miller. Haven’t gotten around to the new collection of Exegesis writings. It’s pretty obvious PKD was obsessed with this experience the last eight years of his life. It wasn’t his nature to just accept or deny an experience like this as most of us would. The fact he managed to make any sense of it is rather amazing, since writings on experiences of this nature are often suppressed. But I don’t believe he ever came to any final conclusions about the source of his experience. This comic states he did just before his stroke, but, no doubt, had he lived, he’d have been onto something else the following week.

    Did he have a true religious experience or a psychotic break? Who knows? As one contributor mentioned, maybe they are the same thing. I think religious experiences of this nature are a lot more common than most of us realize. Most people don’t share them with too many people, and as I mentioned many would be in denial if they had one. I had one myself when I was 17. It only lasted a short time and I came to an acceptable conclusion about what it was quickly. It was almost 25 years later when I did some Bible study at a Church when I found out what Christians would call it. PKD was seeking a definitive answer as to what to call it, where it came from and what it meant, but I think these experiences have been going on for centuries and each religion or society has a a different name for it and way of describing it because we all experience it in a unique way. This makes it easy for people to think there’s was the definitive experience and to discredit the experiences of others.
    As far as psychological disorders, I think we are addicted in this society to labeling everything. Even normal behavior becomes characterized as some sort of diagnosable disorder. I think PKD today would likely be labeled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder. But I think our acceptable behavior range has narrowed to such a small range today, almost everything can be on pills for something. It’s hard for us to look back at someone like PKD without doing through this type of lens. He definitely was very troubled for a lot of reasons, but that is not uncommon for great artists. They see the world through very different eyes.

    I was also thinking it probably was a blessing he died when he did. I don’t believe he would have wanted to live in the world we’ve created in the United States since his death. Also, he had a way of undermining his own career at every turn. I don’t believe he would have become the literary luminary he has become if he was still alive. He’d just be that crazy science fiction writer obsessed with dark haired girls who can’t get his sh*t together. It’s important to remember it was only after his death the short stories were collected and most of his non SF work was published. Were he still alive, it probably wouldn’t have happened yet. He’d probably still be working on the Exegesis. The upside for us would be we’d have a bunch more great novels to read. He’d have written The Owl In Daylight himself and you’d be able to buy it at your local book store for a reasonable price instead of having to mortgage your house to get Tessa’s version of it.

  30. I meant to mention about the Valis a trilogy. If you haven’t read all three books, don’t expect a continuation from Valis to either of the other two books. The Divine Invasion is essentially the same story viewed through a very different lens and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is based on the life of his friend Bishop Pike. Some believe it isn’t actually part of the thematic trilogy and The Owl In Daylight would have been the third book.

  31. William, Could it be that the second coming of Christ happens within each of us when we wake up and remember the truth? As Alan Watts puts it “You are the one you are seeking…” Peace and love

  32. Bigfoot, I have no doubt that there must be an awakening on an essential level in order for the truth to be revealed. I hesitate to attribute it solely to Western mysticism. There are many paths to the truth. Based upon your Alan Watts quote, and taken in conjunction with your Christ comment, it seems you are saying that each one of us is our own Christ, with Christ being only the metaphor to relate that we, each one of us, are our own deity, and it is only through our own individual inward journey of self-discovery & self-awareness, can the Truth finally be revealed. It lies dormant within each of us, or rather most of us, until we discover within ourselves the key to unlock the door. Peace and Love.

  33. @TwA: “Late onset schizophrenia”, it was likely a patient of that disease quite common in a certain tribe, that will not be named, that wrote that comment!”

    That’s your quote and it’s obviously directed at me. Be specific, please. What “certain tribe” could you possibly be referring to? At least have the courage to say what you mean, rather than this cowardly, sly sideways attack, implying what, exactly?

    I can imagine, but say it out loud.

  34. Why don’t they make a movie of Philip K Dick’s life?

    His life is extra-ordinary and really… he was a genius! PURE GENIUS!

    Hollywood, you have used his ideas in various movies. It’s payback time now, make a movie about your success source and greatest sci-fi teller ever on this planet!

  35. Oh, god. I have read ACIM (A Course in Miracles) lately.

    The pieces fit together with this. I had no idea who Philip K Dick is until this month of April 2015. I have researched him and his books. It’s obvious, he’s not crazy, never even been. He’s just path of the Truth.

  36. I just found about PKD recently by researching why they haven’t done a remake of “They Live”. What a fascinating man he was.

  37. Been a PKD fan for many a long year; his body-of-work remains the finest examples of ‘conspiracy theory’ worth reading. In my experience, the mindset it takes to generate fiction that rich and dense might be deeply disturbed, OR could be the result of life-experiences tending to reinforce paranoia, OR he was just spinning yarns. I feel safer assuming he was mildly ‘sick in the head’, and that the world I experience is quite real because others perceive it similarly. If any of his apocalypses were demonstrably true, i.e. similarly perceived by many persons not known to each other, I might require a means of ‘escape’ more powerful than just reading fiction.

  38. I have had the “on and off” sensation myself in a buddhist temple. There does not have to be a Christian or monotheistic association at all with the feeling. Thinking too much does not help to understand it.

  39. To provide a couple of contrary examples: A Disease of Language (by Eddie Campbell on Alan Moore), City of Dreadful Night (by James “B.V.” Thomson – if you’re not that stupid to consider this being talked about Victorian London),

  40. “The return of Christ”
    Christ = Christos = anointment = anointed with what? = Knowledge = Jesus the Knowledgeable One = The return of Christ = The return of Knowledge.

  41. Good discussion. Great website. Thank you.

    I have just finished reading six of PKD’s books this year, and have enjoyed them all, though it was the biography of his life in the back of the American classics compendium of his work that troubled me the most.

    I came across this site in preparation for a sermon on the Blessed Virgin Mary’s song found in St. Luke’s Gospel (1:47-56). As a minister and theologian, I understand PKD’s experience with “Jesus” and God as a foil or as opposite to that which the BVM experienced: hers, eminently God-centered, spiritual, and joyful; his, eminently self-centered, carnal, and tragic.

    From a historic Christian perspective, one which seems to be underrepresented on this site, the difference at the end of the day is not that there are no “spiritual” elements in his religious experience, or “theological philosophy.” The difference is that Mary encountered God; PKD only a figment of his imagination.

    For Christians, there is no “Christ” without “Jesus”; likewise, there is no Jesus without his coming in the flesh (the Incarnation, you know, the *Christmas* story), and no Incarnation without the Fall of Mankind into Rebellion against a God who always did what was good, right, and perfect, and who is justified when he judges humans for refusing to embrace the Remarkable Promise that Mary simply accepted.

    “My should magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

    What Mary says in one sentence PKD struggled to grasp even after thousands of pages of writing, rewriting, and reworking. There is a Christmas lesson here for all of us PKD fans who have both enjoyed, struggled with, and even pitied this great man.

    Unless we are changed and become like little children we cannot enter the kingdom of God. (a paraphrase of a beautiful statement by Jesus recorded in St. Matthew’s Gospel chapter 18)

    RIP PKD.

  42. oh my god was the hell did his visions mean? so mindfucking either he was experiencing a past version of himself of what hindus call atman or what he created those images/stories with his creative brain? so weird including the fact he said he was sometimes writing bible passages and had no idea. reminds me of a train dream some person in a old cavalry army had where the dream was an event that was about to happen in real waking life?

  43. What a beautiful blend of words and drawings. It “means” nothing outside of the experience I had reading it. Crumb edited it well and gave Mr. Dick a most generous hearing.

  44. Interesting that PKD felt the best candidate for this returned christ was Maitreya.

    The issue of Maitreya is interesting in itself. First, there was the Maitreya that this guy, Benjamin Creme insisted for decades was SURELY soon to be going public and revealing himself as the second coming. This went on until Creme died in 2016 with never so much as a peep from his supposed Maitreya. So much for that!

    Second, there’s the Mission of Maitreya, lead by Joseph Emmanuel, who claims to be Maitreya himself, which is this simultaneous culmination of all the world’s religions – the 2nd coming of Christ for the christians, the Medhi of the muslims, the Maitreya buddha of the buddhists, etc. The Mission of Maitreya teaches that all the great world religions follow a logical path, with the eastern mystical religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) forming a foundation of sorts (the 1st seal of the Book of Revelation), Judaism (2nd seal), Christianity (3rd seal), Islam (4th seal), Ba’hai (5th seal), Paravipra (6th seal), and Pure Consciousness (7th seal).

    Anyway…some weird stuff.

  45. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the similarity of this experience of PKD to the Seth material. Though most channeled shit is psy-op, (Crowley started it in the modern era) I can’t find any dirt on Jane Roberts, like you can with Course In Miracles, etc.

    Anyway- for Seth- time is an illusion and all our past lives and present life are being lived simultaneously. The past is not static. All is God and you create your own reality within the limits of agreed upon boundaries of this plane of existence, which is just a minute slice of the totality of the infinite within the infinite of All That Is.

  46. It’s all about the meaning and interpretation……
    I don’t care about all these visions…..
    I found the über essence of the universe in a can of King Oscar Sardines….
    It was May 7…1986.
    I opened the can……finished the sardines…..and realized that nothing had changed.
    The world remained the same…..
    And then I told myself….”so what !?”

    PS: the sardines were delicious

  47. Stab in the dark but I recall this comic being republished in a paranormal comic magazine in the 90s. Wondering if anyone remembers the title?

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