This Freak Establishment

Paul Levy on Philip K. Dick:

In a very real sense, PKD did find the solution to humanity’s existential dilemma. He writes, “compassion’s highest power is the only power capable of solving the maze.”[89] As PKD points out, “The true measure of a man is not his intelligence or how high he rises in this freak establishment. No, the true measure of a man is this: how quickly can he respond to the needs of others and how much of himself he can give.”[90] In other words, the true measure of who we are is how much we are able to love.

PKD concludes, “If the final paradox of the maze is that the only way you can escape it is voluntarily to go back in (into it), then maybe we are here voluntarily; we came back in.”[91] In other words, perhaps we have chosen to incarnate at this very moment in time, i.e., our voluntary return to the maze has already happened (evidenced by the simple fact of our incarnation), which is to say that we have already solved the maze and simply have to recognize this fact. This is true anamnesis—a loss of forgetfulness—which is a remembering, a recollection of our dissociated members, as we re-member our rightful place as part of a greater whole, connected with all that is. “Anamnesis,” to quote PKD from a 1976 interview, “was the loss of amnesia. You remembered your origins, and they were from beyond the stars.”[92]

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