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Authors: Philip K. Dick

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BOOK: The Divine Invasion
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He restored a certain measure of time—and saw Elias Tate come and go about the room, enter and leave; he saw accretional layers laminated together in sequence along the linear time axis. The Hepplewhite cupboard remained for a short series of layers; it held its passive or off or rest mode, and then it was whisked over into its active or on or motion, mode and joined the permanent world of the phylogons, participating now in all those of its class that had come before. In his projected world brain the Hepplewhite cabinet, and its bone china pieces, became incorporated into true reality forever. It would now undergo no more changes, and no one would see it but he. It was, to everyone else, in the past.

He completed the transform with the formulary of Hermes Trismegistus:

Verum est … quod superius est sicut quod inferius et quod inferius est sicut quod superius, ad perpetrando miracula rei unius.

That is:

The truth is that what is above is like what is below and what is below is like what is above, to accomplish the miracles of the one thing.

This was the Emerald Tablet, presented to Maria Prophetissa, the sister of Moses, by Tehuti himself, who gave names to all created things in the beginning, before he was expelled from the Palm Tree Garden.

That which was below, his own brain, the microcosm, had become the macrocosm, and, inside him as microcosm now, he contained the macrocosm, which is to say, what is above.

I now occupy the entire universe, Emmanuel realized; I am now everywhere equally. Therefore I have become Adam Kadmon, the First Man. Motion along the three spacial axes was impossible for him because he was already wherever he wished to go. The only motion possible for him or for changing reality lay along the temporal axis; he sat contemplating the world of the phylogons, billions of them in process, continually growing and completing themselves, driven by the dialectic that underlay all transformation. It pleased him; the sight of the interconnected network of phylogons was beautiful to behold. This was the
kosmos
of Pythagorias, the harmonious fitting-together of all things, each in its right way and each imperishable.

I see now what Plotinus saw, he realized. But, more than that,I have rejoined the sundered realms within me;
I have restored the Shekhina to En Sof
. But only for a little while and only locally. Only in microform. It would return to what it had been as soon as he released it.

"Just thinking," he said aloud.

Elias came into the room, saying as he came, "What are you doing, Manny?"

Causality had been reversed; he had done what Zina could do: make time run backward. He laughed in delight. And heard the sound of bells.

"I saw Chinvat," Emmanuel said. "The narrow bridge. I could have crossed it."

"You must not do that," Elias said.

Emmanuel said, "What do the bells mean? Bells ringing far off."

"When you hear the distant bells it means that the Saoshyant is present."

"The Saviour," Emmanuel said. "Who is the Saviour, Elias?"

"It must be yourself," Elias said.

"Sometimes I despair of remembering."

He could still hear the bells, very far off, ringing slowly, blown, he knew, by the desert wind. It was the desert itself speaking to him. The desert, by means of the bells, was trying to remind him. To Elias he said, "Who am I?"

"I can't say," Elias said.

"But you know."

Elias nodded.

"You could make everything very simple," Emmanuel said, "by saying."

"You must say it yourself," Elias said. "When the time comes you will know and you will say it."

"I am—" the boy said hesitantly.

Elias smiled.

She had heard the voice issue forth from her own womb. For a time she felt afraid and then she felt sad; sometimes she cried, and still the nausea continued—it never let up. I don't recall reading about that in the Bible, she thought. Mary being afflicted with morning sickness. I'll probably get edema and stretch marks. I don't remember reading about that either.

It would make a good graffito on some wall, she said to herself.
THE VIRGIN MARY HAD STRETCH MARKS
. She fixed herself a little meal of synthetic lamb and green beans; seated alone at her table she gazed out listlessly through the dome's port at the landscape. I really should clean up this place, she realized. Before Elias and Herb come back. In fact, I should make a list of what I have to do.

Most of all, she thought, I have to understand this situation. He is already inside me. It has happened.

I need another wig, she decided. For the trip. A better one. I think I'll try out a blond one that's longer. Goddam chemo, she thought. If the ailment doesn't kill you the therapy will. The remedy, she thought acidly, is worse than the malady. Look; I turned it around. God, I feel sick.

And then, as she picked at her plate of cold, synthetic food, a strange idea came to her. What if this is a maneuver by the Clems? she said to herself. We invaded their planet; now they're fighting back. They figured out what our conception of God involves. They're simulating that conception!

I wish mine was simulated, she ruminated.

But to get back to the point, she said to herself. They read our minds or study our books—never mind how they did it—and they fake us out. So what I have inside me is a computer terminal or something, a glorified radio. I can see me going through Immigration. "Anything to declare, Miss?" "Only a radio." Well, she thought, where is this radio? I don't see any radio. Well, you have to look real hard. No, she thought; it's a matter for Customs, not Immigration. What is the declared value of this radio, Miss? That would be hard to say, she answered in her mind. You're not going to believe me but—it's one of a kind. You don't see radios like this every day.

I should probably pray, she decided.

"Yah," she said, "myself, I am weak and sick and afraid, and I really don't want to be involved in this." Contraband, she thought. I'm going to smuggle in contraband. "Lady, come with me. We're going to conduct a complete body search. The matron will be in here in a minute; just sit down and read a magazine." I'll tell them it's an outrage, she thought. "What a surprise!" Feigned amazement. "I have
what
inside me? You're kidding. No, I have no idea how it got there. Will wonders never cease."

A strange lethargy came over her, a kind of hypnagogic state, even as she sat reflexively eating. The embryo inside her had begun to unfold a picture before her, a view by a mind totally different from hers.

She realized, This is how they will view it. The powers of the world.

What she saw, through their eyes, was a monster. The Christian-Islamic Church and the Scientific Legate—their fear did not resemble her fear; hers had to do with effort and danger, with what was required of her. But they—She saw them consulting Big Noodle, the Al System that processed Earth's information, the vast artificial intelligence on which the government relied.

Big Noodle, after analyzing the data, informed the authorities that something sinister had been smuggled past Immigration and onto Earth; she felt their recoil, their aversion. Incredible, she thought. To see the Lord of the universe through their eyes; to see him as foreign. How could the Lord who created everything be a foreign thing'?
They are not in his image, then
, she realized. This is what Yah is telling me. I always assumed—we were always taught—that man is the image of God. It is like calling to like. Then they really believe in themselves! They sincerely do not understand.

The monster from outer space, she thought. We must be on guard perpetually lest it show up and sneak through Immigration. How deranged they are. How far off the mark. Then they would kill my baby, she thought. It is impossible but it is true. And no one could make them understand what they had done. The Sanhedrin thought the same way, she said to herself, about Jesus. This is another Zealot. She shut her eyes.

They are living in a cheap horror film, she thought. There is something wrong when you fear little children. When you view them, any one of them, as weird and awful. I don't want this insight, she said to herself, drawing back in aversion. Take it away, please; I've seen enough.

I understand.

She thought, This is why it has to be done. Because they see as they do. They pray; they make decisions; they shield their world—they keep out hostile intrusions. To them this is a hostile intrusion. They are demented; they would kill the God who made them. No rational thing does that. Christ did not die on the cross to render men spotless; he was crucified because they were crazy; they saw as I see now. It is a vista of lunacy.

They think they are doing the right thing.

 

  6  

T
he girl Zina said, "I have something for you."

"A present?" He held out his hand, trustingly.

Only a child's toy. An information slate, such as every young person had. He felt keen disappointment.

"We made it for you," Zina said.

"Who is that?" He examined the slate. Self-governing factories turned out hundreds of thousands of such slates. Each slate contained common microcircuitry. "Mr. Plaudet gave me one of these already," he said. "They're plugged into the school."

"We make ours differently," Zina said. "Keep it. Tell Mr. Plaudet this is the one he gave you. He won't be able to distinguish them from each other. See? We even have the brand name on it." With her finger she traced the letters I.B.M.

"This one isn't really I.B.M.," he said.

"Definitely not. Turn it on."

He pressed the tab of the slate. On the slate, on the pale gray surface, a single word in illuminated red appeared.

VALIS

"That's your question for right now," Zina said. "To figure out what 'Valis' is. The slate is posing the problem for you at a class-one level … which means it'll give you further clues, if you want them."

"Mother Goose," Emmanuel said.

On the slate the word
VALIS
disappeared. Now it read:

HEPHAISTOS

"Kyklopes," Emmanuel said instantly.

Zina laughed. "You're as fast as it is.,'

"What's it connected to? Not Big Noodle." He did not like Big Noodle.

"Maybe it'll tell you," Zina said.

The slate now read:

SHIVA

"Kyklopes," Emmanuel repeated. "It's a trick. This was built by the troop of Diana."

At once the girl's smile faded.

"I'm sorry," Emmanuel said. "I won't say it again out loud even one more time."

"Give me the slate back." She held out her hand.

Emmanuel said, "I will give it back if it says for me to give it back. He pressed the tab.

NO

"All right," Zina said. "I'll let you keep it. But you don't know what it is: you don't understand it. The troop didn't build it. Press the tab."

Again he pressed the tab.

LONG BEFORE CREATION

"I—" Emmanuel faltered.

"It will come back to you," Zina said. "Through this. Use it. I don't think you should tell Elias either. He might not understand."

Emmanuel said nothing. This was a matter that he himself would decide. It was important not to let others make his choices for him. And, basically, he trusted Elias. Did he also trust Zina? He was not sure. He sensed the multitude of natures within her, the profusion of identities. Ultimately he would seek out the real one; he knew it was there, but the tricks obscured it. Who is it, he asked himself, who plays tricks like this? What being is the trickster? He pressed the tab.

DANCING

To that, he gave a nod of assent. Dancing certainly was the right answer; in his mind he could see her dancing, with all the troop, burning the grass beneath their feet, leaving it scorched, and the minds of men disoriented. You cannot disorient me, he said to himself. Even though you control time. Because I control time, too. Perhaps even more than you.

That night at dinner he discussed Valis with Elias Tate.

"Take me to see it," Emmanuel said.

"It's a very old movie," Elias said.

"But at least we could rent a cassette. From the library. What does 'Valis' mean?"

"Vast Active Living Intelligence System," Elias said. "The movie is mostly fiction. It was made by a rock singer in the latter part of the twentieth century. His name was Eric Lampton but he called himself Mother Goose. The film contained Mini's Synchronicity Music, which had considerable impact on all modern music to this day. Much of the information in the film is conveyed subliminally by the music. The setting is an alternate U.S.A. where a man named Ferris F. Fremount is president."

Emmanuel said, "But what is Valis?"

"An artificial satellite that projects a hologram that they take to be reality."

"Then it's a reality generator."

"Yes," Elias said.

"Is the reality genuine?"

"No; I said it's a hologram. It can make them see whatever it wants them to see. That's the whole point of the film. It's a study of the power of illusion."

Going to his room, Emmanuel picked up the slate that Zina had given him and pressed the tab.

"What are you doing?" Elias said, coming in behind him.

The slate showed one word:

NO

"That's plugged into the government, Elias said. "There's no point in using it. I knew Plaudet would give you one of those." He reached for it. "Give it to me."

"I want to keep it," Emmanuel said.

"Good grief; it says I.B.M. right on it! What do you expect it to tell you? The truth? When has the government ever told anyone the truth? They killed your mother and put your father into cryonic suspension. Let me have it, damn it."

"If this is taken from me," Emmanuel said, "they will give me another."

"I suppose so." Elias withdrew his hand. "But don't believe what it says."

"It says you're wrong about Valis," Emmanuel said.

"In what way?"

Emmanuel said, "It just said 'no.' It didn't say anything more." He pressed the tab again.

BOOK: The Divine Invasion
6.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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