Philip K. Dick Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 195 quotes)
The exegesis Fat labored on month after month struck me as a Pyrrhic victory if there ever was one -- in this case an attempt by a beleaguered mind to make sense out of the inscrutable. Perhaps this is the bottom line to mental illness: incomprehensible events occur; your life becomes a bin for hoax-like fluctuations of what used to be reality. And not only that -- as if that weren't enough -- but you, like Fat, ponder forever over these fluctuations in an effort to order them into a coherency, when in fact the only sense they make is the sense you impose on them, out of necessity to restore everything into shapes and processes you can recognize. The first thing to depart in mental illness is the familiar. And what takes its place is bad news because not only can you not understand it, you also cannot communicate it to other people. The madman experiences something, but what it is or where it comes from he does not know.
But-let me tell you my cat joke. It's very short and simple. A hostess is giving a dinner party and she's got a lovely five-pound T-bone steak sitting on the sideboard in the kitchen waiting to be cooked while she chats with the guests in the living room-has a few drinks and whatnot. But then she excuses herself to go into the kitchen to cook the steak-and it's gone. And there's the family cat, in the corner, sedately washing it's face."The cat got the steak," Barney said."Did it? The guests are called in; they argue about it. The steak is gone, all five pounds of it; there sits the cat, looking well-fed and cheerful. "Weigh the cat," someone says. They've had a few drinks; it looks like a good idea. So they go into the bathroom and weigh the cat on the scales. It reads exactly five pounds. They all perceive this reading and a guest says, "okay, that's it. There's the steak." They're satisfied that they know what happened, now; they've got empirical proof. Then a qualm comes to one of them and he says, puzzled, "But where's the cat?
But the actual touch of her lingered, inside his heart. That remained. In all the years of his life ahead, the long years without her, with never seeing her or hearing from her or knowing anything about her, if she was alive or happy or dead or what, that touch stayed locked within him, sealed in himself, and never went away. That one touch of her hand.
The tragedy in his life already existed. To love an atmospheric spirit. That was the real sorrow. Hopelessness itself. Nowhere on the printed page, nowhere in the annals of man, would her name appear: no local habitation, no name. There are girls like that, he thought, and those you love most, the ones where there is no hope because it has eluded you at the very moment you close your hands around it.
A human being without the proper empathy or feeling is the same as an android built so as to lack it, either by design or mistake. We mean, basically, someone who does not care about the fate which his fellow living creatures fall victim to; he stands detached, a spectator, acting out by his indifference John Donne's theorem that 'No man is an island,' but giving that theorem a twist: that which is a mental and a moral island is not a man.
He sat watching the people go by, wondering how a thing of this sort could have come about, I must have let myself get mixed up in something horrible, he thought ... Probably she's the one who did it; I have no control of myself or anything that's happened. So now I'm waking up. I'm awake, he thought ... I've been destroyed and now that I'm awake all I can do is realize it ... The shock of getting up there and telling that account made me see. Mixture of lies and bits of truth. Woven together. Unable to see where each starts.
I use this as a paradigm for our whole attitude toward life, what you did was you worked very hard, you try to understand and try to direct these complicated, powerful forces and at the very end of the struggle you've made no progress at all. That upon discovering that, you've raised to a lofty moral height, and you've accepted your fate, and somehow went on.
The household was pervaded by this atmosphere of a calm adult woman and a man who gave into animal impulses. She reported to him in great detail what her analyst ... said about his binges and his hostility; she used Charley's money to pay Dr. Andrews to catalog his abnormalities. And of course Charley never heard anything directly from the doctor; he had no way of keeping her from reporting what served her and holding back what did not. The doctor, too, had no way of getting to the truth of what she told him; no doubt she only gave him the facts that suited her picture, so that the doctor's picture of Charley was based on what she wanted him to know. By the time she had edited both going and coming there was little of it outside her control.
There was a beauty in the trash of the alleys which I had never noticed before; my vision seemed sharpened, rather than impaired. As I walked along it seemed to me that the flattened beer cans and papers and weeds and junk mail had been arranged by the wind into patterns; these patterns, when I scrutinized them, lay distributed so as to comprise a visual language.