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For better or worse science fiction authors have come to be judged apart from their writings. A generation raised on star trek has slowly began making their childhood dreams into reality. With this influx of actual technology inspired by Rodenberry's creations, a science fiction version of Where's Waldo burst onto the scene. People love to speculate on which device or doodad was influenced by any particular show or writer. Somewhat unfairly, a lot of authors are somewhat defined by this process in the minds of many readers. "My world view could kick the crap out of your world view if they got into a drunken brawl". Well, my favorite author is Philip K. Dick.

And looking for influences Phil has had on western culture, this is what I've found. He hasn't strongly guided much of the shape of technology. He's done something far more clever, more subtle, and more weird than is apparent at first glance. Phil opened up the doors to a different way of thinking about the world. He was the first to bring Gnosticism back into the public eye. Or, perhaps I should clarify that somewhat. Certainly Gnosticism had been available for some study, but Phil brought it to the world in a living form. Where scholars might write an article every now and again, it was dry, dead. There wasn't much life to be found in their categorizing and indexing. Phil acted as a vessel to poor our modern culture over the dehydrated pages found in a desert pot. Those who read his work were among the first in 1500 years to be able to experience the world view of these long dead mystics in a living form. Phillip K. Dick was the first great Gnostic teacher since not too long after the word of Jesus was making its way across the world for the first time. Quite unintentionally he founded his own school of thought, philosophy, or religion. This site is meant to celebrate that aspect of Phil.

I also want to recognize those authors and their works which best exemplify this way of looking at the world, or incorporate these ideas in an especially weird or interesting way.

Fantastic Planet: Gnostic themed blog with a Phildickian edge. Almost everything there is great, but most notable is what I consider the definitive commentary on the Gospel of Thomas. And by definitive I don't mean by being slightly above the rest. The sheer quality and insight places it miles away from even the closest competion. Though that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the volumes of Gnostic, and other just plain cool, material there.

Pop Occulture: I don't know if the site's author, Tim, would really classify himself as Gnostic; or anything else for that matter. Personally though, I find the site to be a downright embodiment of what I think of as Phildickian Gnosticism. It's an eclectic look at Religion, the occult, spirituality, monsters, technology, Philip K. Dick, and "weird shit" along with many relations of them to Gnosticism. Tim also coined the term Phildickian Gnosticism.

 

 

 

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Phildickian Gnosticism: The many religions of Philip K. Dick
John Emerson, November 12, 2005