I attended a lecture given by Richard M Doyle - “Stairway to Eleusis – the EXEGESIS exegesis and the dharma of Philip K Dick” – as I understood it, he was part of a team of researchers who had the opportunity to go over the infamous and near mythical 9000 page book written by PKD as a consequence of his also infamous schizophrenic break/enlightenment/religious experience.

For those unfamiliar with teh story, R Crumb’s also infamous comic is about the best way I know of to fill in the backstory.

Robert Crumb – The Religious Experience of Philip K Dick

The result of this team study of the file boxes containing the folders of the huge largely handwritten Exegesis document is a book about to be released, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick – making about a tenth of the original document available for study.

A lot of people who have, either thru luck, or practices, or trauma, or other methods, entered one of the many types of “enlightenment” experience will recognize Philip K Dick’s description of one of the characteristic effects of such experiences – the sense of a vast, unending flow of information, suddenly accessible, and often overwhelming. Whatever this experience is, whatever it means, it is common, and has been described thousands of times in the large body of esoteric literature and stories.

I’ve had the experience myself, quite a few times, at many levels of intensity. I’ve had it often enough to know, for instance, that the experience “contains” information and stories that are probably garbage, or at least not true in any human sens eo fthe word true, even tho they are sometimes strikingly “pretty”, ornate, and beautiful and evocative as stories.

I’ve had the experiences often enough that I have had to create a keyphrase for one of the special problems that these experiences raise for we explorers. I call it “the First Content Problem”.

The First Content Problem is this – what is the source of the vast, seemingly endless streams of content that seem to erupt from somewhere and flood the mind during certain types of consciousness and ‘special experience’? If it is coming from somewhere – Where? What? How? If it is being created by the brain and imagination ‘on the fly’, what the hell is doing it? How is such a massive amount  of mental stuff  made (or drawn, constructed, written – whatever verb applies)?

It’s hard to model out how one could actually study the ‘first content problem’ – how do you measure an inner experience. As I mentioned, I’ve tried a few experiments – a bit like trying to put a bucket in the wild rushing river of information, then look to see if what I caught in the bucket made sense. The results were not satisfying to me – I felt unsure if I was looking at gobbledegook or something real seen from an unfamiliar angle.

The brain and mind does seem to extract or build stories or narrative fragments sp0ntaneously “out of” the sensation of the flood of information – but the stories are also pretty clearly fictions when examined closely. Look at PKD’s narratives as described in the R Crumb comic as an example – some of his story constructions are pretty clearly paranoiac, whereas if you are doing your practices right, you hope at least lol, your story constructions will be metanoiac – but they are still story constructions, fictions and metaphors and allusions , and as you look closely at them the gaps, the places where the story breaks down and it’s fictionality is revealed, will become glaringly obvious.

So, what is this process of creating these “holy stories’, these metanoias? Why does it happen? What is it about that experience of vast and endless streams of information flooding thru the mind that causes us to spontaneously write the “holy stories”, to create mythology?

If anybody else comes along and reads this who is also curious about this, I invite you to suggest ideas for studying this “first content problem”.