Simulations of Moksha: Liberation, Mysticism, and Transhumanism in Philip K. Dicks Exegesis Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • [This article reexamines and reframes Philip K. Dicks sprawling philosophical text, known as the Exegesis, in relation to his widely celebrated fiction, philosophies of mysticism, posthumanism, and transhumanism, and more generally, the difficult task of discovering means of transforming our personal and cultural values to be more adequately attuned to our changing environment. I consider how the ontological uncertainty produced in sf relates to an inevitable ontological disorientation produced by science and technology, and show how this leads to a particular (and particularly mystical, for reasons explained) task: the need to estrange ourselves from our traditional human concepts, values, beliefs, and cultures. Using passages from the Exegesis, I lay out how Dick sets up the task of the Exegesis as a kind of simulation of moksha (liberation, in a profound sense), reading the Exegesis as the venue for Dick to run philosophical and personal counterparts to the simulations of his fiction. Dicks remixing of mystical and transhuman rhetoric also clarifies mysticisms relationship to science fiction. Along the way, I reread Martian Time-Slip, Ubik, Valis, and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch through the frame and task set up in the Exegesis, resulting in a new reading of Dicks work that integrates with his post-1974 experiences and writing.]

published proceedings

  • Science Fiction Studies

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • DiCaglio, J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • DiCaglio, Joshua

publication date

  • January 2021