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Sunday, August 4, 2013

What I’m Reading: A Maze of Death


Philip K. Dick begins A Maze of Death with a brief foreword in which he explains that “the theology in this novel is not an analog of any known religion.”  It is an artificial construction based on the arbitrary postulate that God exists. 

That being said, the religion A Maze of Death bears an remarkable similarity to much of Gnostic thought – there is a mutli-modal Deity who created the universe, but whose powers were weakened so that an enemy could arise to confound his creation – known in this novel as The Form Destroyer (which even sounds like it could be a first century Gnostic term.)

A Maze of Death is not an easily read novel.  It’s philosophical science fiction.  It’s Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None with space travel and artificial reality.  It’s the inverse of the Wachowski sibling’s The Matrix

The story follows the 14 inhabitants of Delmak-O who have been sent to this colony (?) for reasons unknown.  It is a strange planet (?) devoid of intelligent life except for the gelatinous cube shaped beings that cannot speak, but will answer questions put to them, with anagrams.  The group’s struggle to find meaning in this bizarre place is put in further jeopardy as the members begin to die off one by one.

Much of Dick’s work wrestles with the question of – What is real? What is reality? And A Maze of Death is no exception.   But to say more about that risks giving away spoilers.  Stop here.  You’ve been warned.




It is revealed at the end of the novel that Delmak-O is not a ‘real’ place, but merely an elaborate polyencphalic construction created by the ship’s computer.  So too is the religion which they practice while within this ‘matrix.’  While within this dream world it felt completely real to them, but  upon awakening they recognize it as the artificial construction that it is.

 And they are disappointed.

Unlike Neo, they’d prefer to live within the illusion. “That’s why we created it” says one of the characters.  “Because we wanted it; because we didn’t have it and needed to have it.  Now we’re back to reality … once again we have to face things as they are.  It doesn’t feel too good does it?”



2 comments:

  1. CAN YOU ENVISION JESUS SAYING THAT?

    The mantra of many believers in Christ is "Water baptism is important, however, it is not essential for any ones salvation."
    Can you envision Jesus saying that?

    What if all the creed books, all the Bible commentaries, and other books written about Bible were destroyed? What if the source for truth you had was the Bible and the Bible alone, then, what would you believe was the purpose of water baptism? Would you still believe that water baptism was not essential for salvation?

    THE BIBLE

    Ephesians 5:25-26...as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (NKJV)

    Ephesians 5:25-26....as Christ showed to the church when he died for her, 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word; (The Living Bible---Paraphrased)

    Ephesians 5:25-26 ....as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (NASB)

    Can you imagine Jesus saying, "Water baptism is not essential to salvation?"

    Acts 22:16 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (NKJV)

    Acts 22:16 And now, why delay? Go and be baptized, and be cleansed from your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (The Living Bible ---Paraphrased)

    Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' (NASB)

    Can you envision Jesus saying, "Saul your sins were washed away three days ago on the road to Damascus, water baptism is not essential to salvation?"

    Acts 2:38....let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;..... (NKJV)

    Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. (The Living Bible--- Paraphrased)

    Acts 2:38 ...each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christfor the forgiveness of your sins..... (NASB)

    Can you envision Jesus saying, "Water baptism is not essential to forgiveness of sins?"

    Mark 16:16 .....and is baptized will be saved... (NKJV)

    Mark 16:16.... and are baptized will be saved... (The Living Bible---Paraphrased)

    Mark 16:16 .....and has been baptized shall be saved... (NASB)

    Can you imagine Jesus saying, "Water baptism is important but not essential to salvation?"

    IF YOU ONLY HAD THE BIBLE, WHAT WOULD YOU BELIEVE?

    Creed books, Bible commentaries, and all other books explaining the Bible are not the infallible word of God. They are not God's inerrant message to all mankind. Why would you not simply trust the Bible and the Bible alone for God's truth given to mankind?



    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG . Google search>>>>>steve finnell a christian view





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    1. I hesitate to remove any comments from my blog. I like to think that this is a free place to dialogue with others. But, Steve, this smacks of trolling. If you'd like to comment on the post at hand, feel free. If not, go elsewhere. Please.

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