"I, like John Denver, can’t turn down a good taco."
...which originates from this interview
Apparently this was a reference to a 1980 speech by John Denver in Aspen, CO... talking about what it means to be human... being our own selves & honoring others... and when he starts talking about specific conscious choices we can make to feel better & improve our lives... he mentions how people are changing their diets & eating better quality food...
1:08:23 - I'm almost a vegetarian now (applause) No, no, wait, wait, wait... That's no big deal & I still can't pass up a good taco! (laughter)
I forgot about this quality of his, but John Denver was like a cross between Jimmy Carter & Steve Martin! The speech is actually all kinds of inspiring, and the underlying themes are in complete harmony with what may be PKD's essential thesis:
"(Of the story, _Human Is_) To me, this story states my early conclusions as to what is human. I have not really changed my view since I wrote this story, back in the Fifties. It's not what you look like, or what planet you were born on. It's how kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us from rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we take, wherever we go, whatever we become. For me, _Human Is_ is my credo. May it be yours."
But PKD would also often say things like, "Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything."
Perhaps that's sort of like Socrates saying, "The only thing I know is that I do not know anything."
Was PKD's writing fiction, or was it truth?
Case in point, this speech/essay from PKD in 1978, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later"
Published posthumously in "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon," 1985... it includes a reference to one of my other favorite PKD lines of all time (which he says that he originally came up with in 1972,
but which is also used in VALIS, 1981), "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
So, back to the 1978 PKD speech/essay, "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later"
"Of course, in science fiction no pretense is made that the worlds described are real. This is why we call it fiction. The reader is warned in advance not to believe what he is about to read.
And yet the strange thing is, in some way, some real way, much of what appears under the title "science fiction" is true.
quite by accident, in the pursuit of a good yarn, a science fiction author or producer or scriptwriter might stumble onto the truth... and only later on realize it.
Speaking for myself, I do not know how much of my writing is true, or which parts (if any) are true. This is a potentially lethal situation. We have fiction mimicking truth, and truth mimicking fiction. We have a dangerous overlap, a dangerous blur. And in all probability it is not deliberate. In fact, that is part of the problem. You cannot legislate an author into correctly labeling his product, like a can of pudding whose ingredients are listed on the label... you cannot compel him to declare what part is true and what isn't if he himself does not know.
It is an eerie experience to write something into a novel, believing it is pure fiction, and to learn later on—perhaps years later—that it is true. I would like to give you an example. It is something that I do not understand. Perhaps you can come up with a theory. I can't."
By the culmination of writing his Exegesis, PKD eventually determines that "Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said" contained the first cypher... "King Felix"
King Felix By Lord RC
VALIS (CH. 10)
...with its covert message of a salvific element (Sophia/Christ) entering the Black Iron Prison world (Rome 0045 C.E. => USA 1974 C.E.)... "The Empire never ended."
q.v. Two-Source Cosmology in PKD's Gnostic Magnum Opus, The "Tractates Cryptica Scriptura"
Of course, the coincidences and synchronicities PKD goes on to describe in "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" are but a fraction of those explored fully in the full Exegesis...
Here is an early online transcription of the published "Selections from the Exegesis"
The printed copies included this essay in the Afterword:
"I Understand Philip K. Dick" by Terence McKenna
Other extensive research/resources concerning the Exegesis can be found through The Zebrapedia Crowdscription Engine, a site devoted to the ongoing transcription, annotation, discussion and editing of Philip K. Dick's Exegesis
...including selected PKD Glossaries
When discussing PKD with people, the first recommendation I have for understanding his exegesis is this excellent visual narrative...
"The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick" by Robert Crumb from Weirdo #17
Erik Davis, one of my favorite scholars in general, wrote his Masters thesis on PKD (and although that may not be online) ...this is one of my favorite essays of his about the Exegesis
"Philip K. Dick's Divine Interference"
Another favorite essay about the Gnostic experiences of PKD: "Philip K. Dick: The Other Side" by Paul Rydeen (This originally appeared in Crash Collusion, issue #5... a magazine published by one of my early mentors, Wesley Nations (AKA Johnny Vagabond ) RIP... for many of us in the underground press, he was another real life heroic manager/father figure, like pike/hollis in PKD's life or bohlen/bolero/archer in his narrative)
I am inordinately fond of his writing, as it often seems to mirror my own experiences...
Tessa Dick (PKD's last wife) has also been continuing his work!
And this heavily Gnostic exploration of the life & work & reincarnations of someone who struggled so deeply with his addictions would not be complete without mentioning that PKD & VALIS are also well known among initiates of Iboga all over the world, now
And while we are at it... what is Iboga, you ask?