pkd quotes

“How does one fashion a book of resistance, a book of truth in an empire of falsehood, ora book of rectitude in an empire of vicious lies? How does one do this right in front of the enemy?

Not through the old-fashioned ways of writing while you’re in the bathroom, but how does one do that in a truly future technological state? Is it possible for freedom and independence to arise in new ways under new conditions? That is, will new tyrannies abolish these protests? Or will there be new responses by the spirit that we can’t anticipate?”

– Philip K Dick, in interview, 1974

“The basic premise dominating my stories is that if I ever met an extraterrestrial intelligence (more commonly called a “creature from outer space”) I would find I had more to say to it than to my next-door neighbor. What the people on my block do is bring in their newspaper and mail and drive off in their cars. They have no other outdoor habits except mowing their lawns. I went next door one time to check into the indoor habits. They were watching TV. Could you, in writing a sf novel, postulate a culture on these premises? Surely such a society doesn’t exist, except maybe in my imagination. And there isn’t much imagination involved.

The way out of living in the middle of an under-imaginative figment is to make contact, in your own mind, with other civilisations as yet unborn.”

– from ‘afterthought by the author’, the best of philip k dick

on thinking for yourself

Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities – the political, the religious, the educational authorities – who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing and forming our minds to their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability, to inform yourself.

– Timothy Leary

the rub

“Changing the world is as easy, and as hard, as just changing the way everyone thinks about their world. The really tough thing is figuring out that no-one really gives a shit.”

– Doktor Sleepless, Warren Ellis.

(Every now and again Ellis really nails something. First time since a couple of lines in Transmetropolitan; that I’ve noticed, anyway.)


What exactly you believe, and how much, and why, is a question Tibet asks you more searchingly than any place I know. It’s part of what travel involves everywhere – the stepping out of the bounds of what you know, and into the realm of wishfulness and illusion and real marvel – but in Tibet it comes with centuries of legends, and a self-consciousness, on both sides, you don’t find in other cultures. We go to Tibet, often, to be transported, and so, inevitably, we are (as we might not be if we saw and heard the same things in Wisconsin); “Tibet” is the name we give to whatever we wish to believe, or can’t quite credit.

– Pico Iyer, Sun After Dark

the moment under the moment

The real reality, the flickering of seen and unseen actualities, the moment under the moment, can’t be put into words: the most that a writer can do – and this is only rarely achieved – is to write in such a way that the reader finds himself in a place where the unwordable happens off the page.

– Russell Hoban

While I have been disappointed with the past few (admittedly masterful) efforts in his canon, when he is on he is light years beyond his contemporaries. Today was saved by walking along the shore, plucking away at his collection The Moment Under the Moment, short stories and essays and oddities from his earlier years, and rediscovering how much I love his genius.

Most of Hoban’s early-middle period are singular works of genius comparable to nothing but themselves. In particular, read Pilgermann someday. I still don’t know what that book was. But it definitely propels the reader into wondrous unwordable places.

Pure lucid genius.

The universe is but a partial manifestation of your limitless capacity to become – Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I Am That by Nisargadatta arrived in the mailbox todayu. Not sure if I have mentioned it on here before, but it is pretty staggering. Nisargadatta was an Indian sage. Uneducated, ran a small shop and hung out at his house, he was universally acknowledged to be freaking amazing.

I Am That is questions and answers with people who came and visited him over the years. He gives pretty much the most straightforward and lucid presentation of spiritual stuff ever.

tao of jeet kune do

Have read a bit of this in the last day or so. Structured largely as a selection of thematically arranged fragments, it is about the most quotable book ever. And Bruce Lee is a philosophical genius. I sort of knew that already – one of my favourite quotes for years has been his “absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, add that which is essentially your own” – but beyond the odd interview in which he had always impressed me, I hadn’t penetrated to the core of his wisdom.

All I can say is holy shit, this guy is worth checking out. Behind the badass legend lies a philosopher king.

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organised institution, no philosophy. When you see that, you will understand that this living thing is also what you are.

Gurdjieff said you can talk to any man who knows how to do something well. The process of becoming a true master of anything involves certain similar stages and realisations.

True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself – the ability, developed through self – discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.

Bruce Lee was definitely a master.

Nothing is what it seems

Hits shay haghase nu dai che khkari

Nothing is what it seems

– Pashtu proverb

“All those foreigners,” he said, “are looking for something quite different than the Indians. Both have contrasting demands on their gurus. Indian people – especially those in villages and small towns – are looking for a cure for illness and increased prosperity. Guru means “dispeller of darkness”, but that’s not what the Westerners are after. They’re looking for someone to praise them – to reinforce their self-confidence.”

– Hakim Feroze, Indian sorceror

in Tahir Shah – Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Declaration of Evolution

Out of everything Timothy Leary said and did, for all the acid of the 60’s, I always thought that this was the most fundamental reason why Leary was regarded by the authorities as the most dangerous man in America. (The kicker is in the 2nd to last paragraph, but the whole thing is well worth reading.)

Declaration of evolution by Timothy Leary, PhD. ———————————————————

When in the course of organic evolution it becomes obvious that a mutational process is inevitably dissolving the physical and neurological bonds which connect the members of one generation to the past and inevitably directing them to assume among the species of Earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent concern for the harmony of species requires that the causes of the mutation should be declared.

We hold these truths to be self evident:

That all species are created different but equal;

That they are endowed, each one, with certain inalienable rights;

That among them are Freedom to Live, Freedom to Grow, and Freedom to pursue Happiness in their own style;

That to protect these God-given rights, social structures naturally emerge, basing their authority on the principles of love of God and respect for all forms of life;

That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and harmony, it is the organic duty of the young members of that species to mutate, to drop out, to initiate a new social structure, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its power in such form as seems likely to produce the safety, happiness, and harmony of all sentient beings.

Genetic wisdom, indeed, suggests that social structures long established should not be discarded frivolous reasons and transient causes. The ecstasy of mutation is equally balanced by the pain. Accordingly all experience shows that members of a species are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, rather than to discard the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, all pursuing invariably the same destructive goals, threaten the very fabric of organic life and the serene harmony of the planet, it is the right, it is the organic duty to drop out of such morbid covenants and to evolve new loving social structures.

Such has been the patient sufferance of the freedom-loving peoples of this earth, and such is now the necessity which constrains us to form new systems of government.

The history of the white, menopausal, mendacious men now ruling the planet earth is a history of repeated violation of the harmonious laws of nature, all having the direct object of establishing a tyranny of the materialistic aging over the gentle, the peace-loving, the young, the colored. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to the judgement of generations to come.

These old, white rulers have maintained a continuous war against other species of life, enslaving and destroying at whim fowl, fish, animals and spreading a lethal carpet of concrete and metal over the soft body of earth.

They have maintained as well a continual state of war among themselves and against the colored races, the freedom-loving, the gentle, the young. Genocide is their habit.

They have instituted artificial scarcities, denying peaceful folk the natural inheritance of earth’s abundance and God’s endowment.

They have glorified material values and degraded the spiritual.

They have claimed private, personal ownership of God’d land, driving by force of arms the gentle from passage on the earth.

In their greed they have erected artificial immigration and customs barriers, preventing the free movement of people.

In their lust for control they have set up systems of compulsory education to coerce the minds of the children and to destroy the wisdom and innocence of the playful young.

In their lust for power they have controlled all means of communication to prevent the free flow of ideas and to block loving exchanges among the gentle.

In their fear they have instituted great armies of secret police to spy upon the privacy of the pacific.

In their anger they have coerced the peaceful young against their will to join their armies and to wage murderous wars against the young and gentle of other countries.

In their greed they have made the manufacture and selling of weapons the basis of their economies.

For profit they have polluted the air, the rivers, the seas. In their impotence they have glorified murder, violence, and unnatural sex in their mass media.

In their aging greed they have set up an economic system which favors age over youth.

They have in every way attempted to impose a robot uniformity and to crush variety, individuality, and independence of thought.

In their greed, they have instituted political systems which perpetuate rule by the aging and force youth to choose between plastic conformity or despairing alienation.

They have invaded privacy by illegal search, unwarranted arrest, and contemptuous harassment.

They have enlisted an army of informers.

In their greed they sponsor the consumption of deadly tars and sugars and employ cruel and unusual punishment of the possession of life-giving alkaloids and acids. They never admit a mistake.

They unceasingly trumpet the virtue of greed and war. In their advertising and in their manipulation of information they make a fetish out of blatant falsity and pious self-enhancement.

Their obvious errors only stimulate them to greater error and noisier selfapproval. They are bores.

They hate beauty. They hate sex. They hate life.

We have warned them from time to time to their inequities and blindness.

We have addressed every available appeal to their withered sense of righteousness.

We have tried to make them laugh.

We have prophesied in detail the terror they are perpetuating. But they have been deaf to the weeping of the poor, the anguish of the colored, the rocking mockery of the young, the warnings of their poets. Worshipping only force and money, they listen only to force and money. But we shall no longer talk in these grim tongues.

We must therefore acquiesce to genetic necessity, detach ourselves from their uncaring madness and hold them henceforth as we hold the rest of God’s creatures in harmony, life brothers, in their excess, menaces to life.

We, therefore, God-loving, peace-loving, life-loving, fun-loving men and women, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the Universe for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the Authority of all sentient beings who seek gently to evolve on this planet, solemnly publish and declare that we are free and independent, and that we are absolved from all Allegiance to the United States Government and all governments controlled by the menopausal, and that grouping ourselves into tribes of like-minded fellows, we claim full power to live and move on the land, obtain sustenance with our own hands and minds in the style which seems sacred and holy to us, and to do all Acts and Things which independent Freemen and Freewomen may of right do without infringing on the same rights of other species and groups to do their own thing.

And for the support of this Declaration of Evolution with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, and serenely confident of the approval of generations to come, in whose name we speak, do we now mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.


I am certain that none of the world’s problems… have any hope of solution except through total democratic society’s becoming thoroughly and comprehensively self-educated – Buckminster Fuller

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