Books with Astral Themes

Sometimes you read a book, and you realize the author must have some kind of connection to the Astral plane.

A few months back I got into Philip K Dick in a big way, which I never did when I was young despite my voracious appetite for science fiction back then. Philip K Dick is widely considered one of the great science fiction story writers of the last century. His works are always very creative, unique and fascinating. In addition to the 6 or so stories I read, I found and watched a documentary on the life of Philip K Dick, which was quite unique. He lived in Santa Ana, California, not far from where I grew up; I could feel the town while watching the documentary, even though I have lived in Arizona for the past 25 years. He passed away in 1982 at the age of 53 (just a few years older than I am now). I think all of that and more caused me to just feel connected to him, to his life struggle, emotionally and mentally. I felt like I got him, that in some way I WAS him. I got it.

I realize now after reading many of his stories that most of them are based in the Astral plane. The stories feel to me like he tuned-in to various levels of the Astral plane, primarily lower Astral or middle Astral; where you can get caught up in a tangle of complexity, not be able to reach where you’re trying to go, not be able to see your friend that you’re trying to locate, things like that are typical components of these levels.

You might think to yourself that you’ve never read any of his stories; but you’ve probably seen movies based on them.  Have you seen Total Recall,  Blade Runner, Minority Report, or Paycheck? Those were his stories. Also: A Scanner Darkly, Next, The Adjustment Bureau. Some of these are my all-time favorite movies, and I’ve seen thousands of movies.

I don’t agree with the drugs he used and the lifestyle that he and his friends lived. But I think that was what contributed to the freaky and strange worlds that he envisioned, and wrote about so eloquently.

It makes me wonder how much damage a person does to themselves by taking powerful drugs, especially psychedelics. I believe it blocks them from being able to reach the higher levels of the Astral and higher planes, where happiness and cooperation exist. It saddens me to think that they would have limited themselves so much, cutting themselves off from some of the greatest parts of life that we have in our world. There is enough pain and agony in our physical world – everyone needs some relief, some vacation from this place from time to time.

Philip K Dick was a very good person, but I think he trapped himself in a way he never expected. It hurts me to think about it. I hope that he has an opportunity to return to our world and try it again. Maybe next time he can be fully creative without the use of drugs. What if he had kept writing without drugs? Could he possibly have visited the Mental plane and brought back memories from that level? What kind of stories would he write then? How would the memory of those experiences affect the quality and power of his writing? I wish I could read a PKD science fiction story derived from experiences in the Mental plane. That would be amazing.

Wherever you are, PKD, thank you for your contribution to Humanity. People need to read your stories. I hope they get to stretch their imagination the way I did from reading your various fascinating tales of science fiction.

His wikipedia entry:

One story I read that reminded me so much of the Astral plane is Ubik


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