WE get to see the face of God in Robert Crumb’s Book Of Genesis. But was the representation of the Creator accurate? In 1974, Crumb gave us another image of God, one based on Philip K. Dick’s memory.
Dick’s Divine vision was triggered by seeing a delivery girl,who was wearing a Jesus fish on a chain about her neck. Dick had taken LSD:
In that instant, as I stared at the gleaming fish sign and heard her words, I suddenly experienced what I later learned is called anamnesis—a Greek word meaning, literally, “loss of forgetfulness.” I remembered who I was and where I was. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, it all came back to me. And not only could I remember it but I could see it. The girl was a secret Christian and so was I. We lived in fear of detection by the Romans. We had to communicate with cryptic signs. She had just told me all this, and it was true.
For a short time, as hard as this is to believe or explain, I saw fading into view the black, prisonlike contours of hateful Rome. But, of much more importance, I remembered Jesus, who had just recently been with us, and had gone temporarily away, and would very soon return. My emotion was one of joy. We were secretly preparing to welcome Him back. It would not be long. And the Romans did not know. They thought He was dead, forever dead. That was our great secret, our joyous knowledge. Despite all appearances, Christ was going to return, and our delight and anticipation were boundless.
As he wrote in VALIS (it stands for Vast Active Living Intelligence System), the book’s hero Horselover Fat had had a vision.
“I saw God,” Fat states, and Kevin and I and Sherri state, “No, you just saw something like God, exactly like God.” And having spoke, we do not stay to hear the answer, like jesting Pilate, upon his asking, “What is truth?”
And in this 1974 issue #17 of Weirdo mag.
* Dick experienced anamnesis, Greek for “loss of forgetfulness.” He briefly saw himself living in the Roman Empire after Jesus Christ was crucified. It lasted a moment, but Dick went down the rabbit hole.
For two years, Dick experienced visions. He would fall into a trance and mutter in Greek. A pinkish light would strike him, and he would be overwhelmed with information from an unknown source. For a month, he thought he was a man living under the Romans. Dick lost the ability to drive and feared police officers, believing them to be Roman soldiers hunting for Christians. In another incident, he believed himself possessed by Elijah’s spirit.
One day, while his wife was caring for their infant son, Dick fell into a trance while listening to “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The lyrics told him his son was suffering from a potentially fatal inguinal hernia. He ordered his wife to take the child to the doctor, where the diagnosis was confirmed.