More Dreams

Another dream log. This one was very unexpected.

I think the first part of the dream had to do with anxiety over my upcoming kidney stone surgery (26 Dec). It kept alternating between this grim city where the poor were being swept away by heavy rains, and a pleasant resort with many people (most of them older) who were going to hold hands and embrace death together. They wanted me there too. We held hands in this sand ampitheater just above a narrow beach. A wave came crashing toward us, massive and frightening. Then out of the wave came a bunch of cheering people and the wave itself disintegrated. I think they were the souls of the dead come to meet their friends and family and take them home. But there was nobody that I recognized.

The next thing I knew I was back in that dreary city next to a manhole cover. Water stood about an inch high above it. I heard the sound of water rushing beneath it, then a thud and muffled screaming. Then blood welled up from under the manhole cover.

Then the dream switched gears again. I was talking to someone and I told them my name.

Theysaid “Oh! You’re Philip K Dick’s daughter!” and I was stunned. I think all I managed was “What!?”

Sure enough, in a magazine from 1980, there was my name in an article about him. Even in the dream I knew this was odd because I was born in 1984.

But somehow I arranged to see him. As in a previous dream, he was still alive and remarried but this time, he was living in a very nice house. We didn’t talk that much but I had the expectation that I’d be back, though why he seemed to think I was his daughter was a question I wanted to ask.

This was a curious sort of thing to dream because I have a good relationship with my father and never felt the need for a father figure. Indeed, during the dream I felt more perplexed than warm.

But I wonder too if this isn’t some harbinger, especially paired with the dreams earlier and another set of dreams from some months ago where I went walking down a beautiful country road carrying my cat who died last February of kidney troubles. I fear I may soon fall prey to complications from the surgery.

It’s not like I can opt out of the surgery either. This stone is big and it’s got my left kidney blown up like a water balloon. It won’t resolve itself; I’ll die of sepsis if I don’t have this surgery.

Please, if you are a person of faith, pray for me. I’m not liking these omens.

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Philip K. Dick Is Dead

The thing that no one ever tells you about making a famous past life claim is that when you mention it in public, it’s bound to overshadow any other past life claims you might have.

I began this blog as a journal of my recollection and recovery from a life on the Western Front in 1915 that came to a very violent end.  At the time I didn’t even realize I had memories of a life after that (in fact I had assumed that I simply “slept” for the better part of 69 years before coming back in mid-1984).

Dealing with one past life became an excercise in making sense of it in the context of several other lives that came to light.  Phil just happened to be one of them.  But the more I learned about Phil, the more I became convinced that if I dug deeper into his life I’d find the key to everything.  And just like everything else past life related, I duly recorded it here in as much detail as I could think to record, hoping to turn this into an extension of my past life’s exegesis.

I no longer think the key is there.  All I can gather is that if I was him, my experiences in 1974 either never really happened (since I have no memory of them) or I was too ambitious in my interpretation of what they meant.  I also learned just how deeply flawed I was as a person in that life, and still am in this life.  I grant you, there’s still a lot of good there.  I just wasn’t the prophet people made me out to be.

Dealing with all this has been frustrating and exhausting.  Nobody I knew would ever believe me, so I’m having to come to terms with the fact that any apology I could make now for not being the husband and father I wanted to be would be too little too late and I’d inevitably get treated like a psycho for even bringing it up.

I also proved that I’m a better writer than I was.  My attempt to knock out something like I wrote back in ’63 or ’64, a trippy sci-fi novel about 60k words long, took longer to complete (9 months from the first page of the first draft to publication) but it was also much more refined than what I was churning out back then.  It also had a much more British flavor (flavour?) that made it feel more like Neville Shute.  My friend who is open-minded about my experience but remains skeptical about reincarnation says I’m selling myself short to compare my work to Phil’s and I’m inclined to agree.

Furthermore, for what it’s worth, I feel closer to my WWI life than I do to Phil.  I can talk about Phil more easily in the third person than I can with Jack.  I remember more of Jack’s life and I remembered it sooner.  I feel more at home in England than I do on the West Coast of the US (though I do like it here on the West Coast).  I feel closer in every respect to Jack and I feel the loss of that life much more in the long run even if I did feel some sense of loss for my life as Phil.  And I still cry for Jack’s mother.  I was born having cried all I’m ever going to cry for Phil’s mother (not to seem cold; I simply made peace with that in my last life).

That’s why I kept this blog up and why I intend to keep updating here until I can at least say my goodbyes to Jack, and possibly to England.  But I’ve already put Phil to rest.  I already said my goodbyes to that life last summer.

That’s why I’m troubled about what to do about all these posts on my blog about Phil that seem to be getting so many views that it’s really overshadowing my whole intention behind starting this blog in the first place.  “I want to know” and “The Mysterious Jeanette Marlin” seem especially popular.  On the one hand I’m not monetized on this blog (and never will be), so I have nothing to gain by keeping them up.  On the other hand, I feel like if I delete them it will seem as if I haven’t got the courage to stand by my claims.  I do.  I consider it pretty likely I was him.  I just don’t want them to overshadow what this blog was about in the first place.

The war really hurt, it tore a deep psychic gash in my being that has lasted for more than a century across several lifetimes.  Phil was only one part of that story.  Now I want to finish that story by going back to the beginning of that disturbance and making peace with what happened in France all those years ago.  And I invite the reader to join me moving forward with that rather than dwelling on posts about a life that I no longer feel needs any attention.

A Brief Note

Barring some big development (which I don’t foresee happening) this will be my last post about having possibly been Philip K. Dick in a previous life.  I’m shifting the content of this blog back to a broader view of theology and metaphysics, toward tracking down possible identities for earlier lives (especially my seafaring life in the mid 19th century) and toward coming to terms with the life I lost on the Western Front in 1915.

I’ve spoken to people who knew me, I’ve been to places I knew, and I’ve written a brilliant science fiction novel (currently in the running for an award) to prove that I still have it when it comes to weird genius.  I’ve gone about as far as I can go in making amends for my past mistakes and making sense of myself in the context of who I may have been, and I feel I’ve turned a corner and need to move on.  To dwell on it any longer would not serve me.

I’m shifting gears in my life, shaping up to be somewhat more of a scholar than a novelist, and I think that’s just fine.  I’ve already gotten further in my education in this life than I have in any other life I remembered and it’s time to get serious about being an academic at this point.  Phil fell back on his writing because he couldn’t finish college; I am fortunate that I don’t have to do that.

If all goes well, I hope to become a medieval historian.  My dream is to work as a historical consultant for film and television which is both lucrative and exciting.

This doesn’t mean I’ll stop writing; I feel that writing fiction is still very much a part of who I am.  I really want to use my studies in medieval history to write straight-up historical fiction; my last published work had some elements of historical fiction and it went over extremely well.  The well of my inspiration runs deep and I find that the more I study, the deeper it runs.  If I can make a career out of my work, so much the better!

What can I say?  I’m evolving.  An eye toward the past can tell me a lot, but the number one takeaway is that I don’t have to follow the same path in every life.  I’ve had many professions, I’ve been male, female, and several shades in between, and I haven’t even always been human.  Being the possible reincarnation of an author who famously struggled doesn’t make me obligated to struggle the same way or with the same things.

For this reason, unless I have more memories or unless something incredibly relevant comes up (like some really shocking synchronicity), I don’t intend to mention Phil again.  I’m free from the burden of being him in the present even if I was him in the past, and I think that’s ultimately a good thing.

Reflecting

Sorry for my relative absence, I haven’t been terribly well lately but I feel like I’m improving somewhat as I’m no longer in searing abdominal pain and my appetite is returning slowly but surely.  I was literally one day from going to the doctor when I started showing signs of improvement; I might still go to the doctor if I have any significant downward turn or return of symptoms.

Assuming I’m right about having been Philip K. Dick in my previous life (there is forever a shadow of doubt which I have elaborated on to great length elsewhere), I would have been 87 years old today.  For some reason my birthday this year has had more resonance with fans than last year, or so it seems.

It doesn’t help though.  I meet 87-year-olds occasionally, and if I could have stayed active the rest of my life, like Bradbury (who finally broke into mainstream fiction and script writing), I could have left a bigger, better legacy.  I could have lived to go from Cassandra to living prophet, and I could have possibly had some pull, as a public figure, in the outcome of things like the 2000 elections or the run-up to the Iraq war, or the rise of the technological dystopia I predicted back in the 1960s.

Instead, I’ve been bumped back to Cassandra status and I’ve been feeling so helpless lately.

Perhaps in desperation then, I took part in a ritual on Monday to summon an angel said to bring to light solutions to questions of a civic nature.  My query, of course, was what my best contribution to helping the world could be.

The angel in the vision was a beautiful one.  She had two forms; one was that of an eye in the center of a majestic whorl of wings.  The other was that of a beautiful black woman, full-figured with a round face, who was dressed and groomed like a Nubian queen in a flowing robe of purple, like a Madonna icon, but who carried herself with the enlightened humbleness and sure-footedness of a Boddhisattva.  She was the very image of wisdom, beauty, nobility, and benevolence.

Most of the vision felt like I was trying too hard; the images were beautiful but meaningless as far as I’m concerned.  I think my concentration was broken by my general illness and hunger. But the initial vision was one that seemed genuine since my query hadn’t been about past lives.

I was back at the house in Point Reyes Station, stepping out the door.  This was after Anne and I had separated, around 1964-66.  I know this because had my little VW there in the driveway, waiting for me.  I was wearing a button-up shirt.  I had a letter in my hand and put it in my shirt pocket.

I was frustrated at first to get a scene from any past life, because I hadn’t asked for that; much less for a past life where I was an addict, perpetually broke until my last few years, a terrible husband, and a terrible father (at least in my estimation).  I took the letter to be more symbolic than literal, a reference to the later verses of the Hymn of the Pearl which seem to be an ongoing theme in my reflections on that life.

I initially rejected the apparent message of “keep doing what you’re doing” because I still feel like I’m in a rut repeating a slightly less tragic version of the same life.  I don’t want to be that any more.  I want to be a living saint because the world needs living saints.  I feel like that ship sailed in 1982 and I came home from the ritual in low spirits.  My physical illness got worse and at one point I was in the right mind to die, which is to say thinking of how to make it easier for my fiance and thinking of returning to the true light instead of returning to this world of pain.

Today, the illness finally seemed to break somewhat, and without searing abdominal pain to keep me from sleeping on it, the thought occurred to me that I need to keep prognosticating in my writing, even if it seems like I’m beating my head against the wall.  I need to take care of myself, so I don’t die at 53 with so much work left to do.

A friend who has read my book about queer academics caught up in the machinations of a ruthless dictator from the world of corporate raiders put it best: “It seems your days as Cassandra weren’t altogether misguided after all.”

Perhaps this life is my chance to actually make a difference with my predictions instead of being recognized too late.   At least, I have nothing to lose by trying.

A Connection?

As I mentioned earlier, my memories of past lives hit during a celestial event known as Pluto Sextile Chiron.

This is interesting, because I discovered something else tonight.

First a bit of background: In his “Exegesis,” Philip K. Dick references Asclepius or Asklepios- the ancient Greek god of healing- extensively.  He conjectured that Asklepios had contacted him.

Tonight I found out from this page, about the recently-excavated ruins of a temple of Asclepius, that Asclepius fits into the sort of myth behind Pluto and Chiron.

Asclepius, a son of Apollo, was a god of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. We are all familiar with Asclepius in a way, since the symbol that is used for medicine, the snake entwined staff, was the rod of Asclepius. According to mythology, Asclepius was brought up by the mysterious figure of ancient Greek mythology, the centaur Chiron, who raised Asclepius and taught him about the art of medicine. Because Asclepius used his powers to bring people from Hades (meaning resurrecting them), the God of Hades complained to Zeus because Asclepius converted many people from humans to immortals. The result was for Zeus to kill Asclepius with thunder.

As many of you know, Pluto is basically the Roman equivalent of Hades.  Here we have an asteroid- playing the role in the celestial drama of the teacher of Asclepius- in sextile with Pluto, a planet playing the role of the eponymous god of death.

It’s one hell of a synchronicity that this is the astrological alignment that ultimately led to me thinking I may or may not have been Philip K. Dick in a previous life.  I’m still not sure it means anything (in part because it was not Phil’s life I remembered on or about 8 September 2012) but it’s rather interesting.

Hottest Lead In Years

On January 6, 2014 (the Feast of the Epiphany, of all days!) I made this post in which I mentioned one of my possible memories from Phil’s life:

I remember a large, short-furred dog (possibly a labrador) that either lived at or visited the house where I lived until 1972. This was not my dog but someone else’s. had previously asked the person I confirmed my earlier memories with, but she was unsure of this memory.

Last night, after sitting on it for a couple of months, I dug out my copy of “The Search For Philip K. Dick” by Anne Dick and started reading again.  I had previously put it away after reading up to the part where Phil’s marriage to Anne had disintegrated and he was living in Oakland with a worsening drug problem.

I read through his San Rafael years last night and I was astonished to discover that there was indeed a black lab that lived at the house in San Rafael!

Once again, this proves nothing.  A black lab is a very common breed… but it really got my attention and brings my earlier claims back to plausibility.

As an aside, there is no mention whatsoever of Kathy Demuelle in Anne’s book… I thought it was strange because she was one of Phil’s biggest crushes (I even remembered the car she drove, a little red Nova).  I even checked the index but she’s not there.  Very odd.

Not Sure What To Make of This

On the one hand, I still haven’t completely given up on the prospect of having been Philip K. Dick in my last life.  The semblances in personality are pretty uncanny, as I’ve prattled on at length about over the last two and a half years.

Lately though, I’ve been getting flashes of another life in England that I believe may have ended some time between 1940 and 1955.  Very brief ones, and only two so far, both featuring a beautiful woman.  I believe I was a man of some means, refined, passionate, and suave, but died in my prime.

This is problematic because this is an awful lot like one of the characters from my most recently published book.  I’m reluctant to believe anything that too closely resembles the suave, dapper, debonair mid-century British aerospace engineer I conceived in my book, who was born in 1901 and has a vision in 1946 that reveals that he will die in 1957 (a bit longer than the life I keep seeing, but only by about 14 years).  On the other hand, the character was so convincingly written that I may well have been drawing from a deeper well of personal experience.

Maybe it’s nothing.  The woman I saw looked a little too much like some fantasy from a Hollywood movie, wearing this sleek 40s high fashion dress and coming out of the fog as I listened to Jussi Bjorling’s rendition of “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot, a song that could very well have been the soundtrack of a Hollywood movie.

None of this has the feel of verisimilitude I got when I tried on Phil as a past life identity.  It feels like the creation of my own romantic mind, and not the sad, painfully ordinary and constantly fearful man I saw myself as, peering fearfully through blinds at unmarked cop cars in the early 70s.  There was nothing romantic about being Phil as I remembered it, and anything that smacks of more romance than the life of an impoverished writer- the only reality I’ve known in my present adult life- seems both presumptuous and wishful thinking.

About the only reason I have to give this latest flash of the 20th century the benefit of the doubt is because I hadn’t actually been trying to dig up past life memories lately.  I felt like I was trying too hard and I had walked away from it.  This flash was spontaneous and unexpected.  Still, something about it doesn’t pass the smell test.