Selections from “The Exegesis”

By Philip K. Dick



“The Ten Major Principles of the Gnostic Revelation” (1978)



The Gnostic Christians of the second century believed that only a special revelation of knowledge rather than faith could save a person. The contents of this revelation could not be received empirically or derived a priori. They considered this special gnosis so valuable that it must be kept secret. Here are the ten major principles of the gnostic revelation:


1. The creator of this world is demented.

2. The world is not as it appears, in order to hide the evil in it, a delusive veil obscuring it and the deranged deity.

3. There is another, better realm of God, and all our efforts are to be directed toward

a. returning there

b. bringing it here.

4. Our actual lives stretch thousands of years back, and we can be made to remember our origin in the stars.

5. Each of us has a divine counterpart unfallen who can reach a hand down to us to awaken us. This other personality is the authentic waking self, the one we have now is asleep and minor. We are in fact asleep, and in the hands of a dangerous magician disguised as a good god, the deranged creator deity. The bleakness, the evil and pain in this world, the fact that it is a deterministic prison controlled by a demented creator causes us willingly to split with the reality principle early in life, and so to speak willingly fall asleep in delusion.

6. You can pass from the delusional prison world into the Peaceful kingdom if the True Good God places you under His grace and allows you to see reality through His eyes.

7. Christ gave, rather than received, revelation; he taught his followers how to enter the kingdom while still alive, where other mystery religions only bring about anamnesis: knowledge of it as the "other time" in "the other realm," not here. He causes it to come here, and is the living agency of the Sole Good God (i.e. the Logos).

8. Probably the real, secret Christian church still exists, long underground, with the living Corpus Christi as its head or ruler, the members absorbed into it. Through participation in it they probably have vast, seemingly magical powers.

9. The division into "two times" (good and evil) and "two realms" (good and evil) will abruptly end with victory for the good time here, as the presently invisible kingdom separates and becomes visible. We cannot know the date.

10. During this time period we are on the sifting bridge being judged according to which power we give allegiance to, the deranged creator demiurge of this world or the One Good God and his kingdom, whom we know through Christ.


To know these ten principles of gnostic Christianity is to court disaster.





Introduction to Selections from The Exegesis by L. Sutin

Part Six, The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick, ed. L. Sutin


All of the selections are published here for the first time. Two of these selections were given titles by Dick ‑ a rarity in The Exegesis as a whole.


"Outline in Abstract Form of a New Model of Reality Updating Historic Models, in Particular Those of Gnosticism and Christianity" (1977) is credited, by Dick, as being the joint work of himself and his friend SF writer K. W. Jeter. Jeter recalls that while the ideas emerged in the course of conversation between them, the writing is by Dick alone.


The final selection herein‑"The Ultra Hidden (Cryptic) Doctrine: The Secret Meaning of the Great System of Theosophy of the World, Openly Revealed for the First Time" ‑ is the longest Exegesis entry published to date. It is atypical from most Exegesis entries in possessing an essaylike structure and in having been typed out. Very likely it was intended as a summary of findings, as was "Cosmogony and Cosmology" (1978), included in a previous section. Was Dick serious about the title? In all probability, yes. Was he also satirizing his very efforts at comprehending Truth? Almost certainly.


The Exegesis is a free‑roaming affair‑as a nightly journal devoted to the expression of one's inmost (and ever‑changing) thoughts on the largest and most perplexing issues of life would naturally be. Careful selections serve it well, for there is within it much repetition, much fretful worrying over past crisis moments in his life, many futile stabs at insight, and occasional bouts of pettiness and spleen. At its best, however, the flights of the Exegesis through impossibly possible worlds are remarkable.