This morning I was surfing YouTube for interviews with f/sf authors. In so doing I ran across this bizarre 1977 footage of Philip K. Dick giving a speech at a science fiction convention in France. Actually, this is not as much a speech as it is PKD earnestly reading a written statement about how he recently discovered that reality is a computer program. All fans of PKD should be familiar with this authors' famously tenuous hold on reality, but to see this manifested on film is quite moving and also, for me at least, quite sad. This clip is painfully reminiscent of a close high school friend of mine who has been fighting problems with schizophrenia and paranoia for much of his adult life. Interestingly, this friend of mine (wisely) refused to read VALIS out of fear it would make matters worse.
In this video you can hear PKD saying things like "Some of my fictional works were, in a literal sense, true", "We are living in a computer programmed reality", and describing how books like Man in the High Castle and Flow My Tears the Policeman Said were based on true realities he had seen in visions. "I claim to remember a very different present life," he says.