Saturday, May 20, 2006

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jack Sarfatti
Date: May 20, 2006 3:11:45 PM PDT
To: saul-paul & mary-minn sirag
Subject: Re: The VALIS Idea, PK Dick & Walter Breen

Thanks for reminding me! :-)

Saul-Paul there is a major publishing project going to happen. I will cut you in on my share and what you need to start doing is to assemble all your notes journals from your own life and also the events you and I both participated in. You remember many details I have completely forgotten!

On May 20, 2006, at 2:00 PM, saul-paul & mary-minn sirag wrote:

In 1976, you and I visited Walter Breen at Marion Zimmer Bradley's house on Deakin Street in Berkeley. She gave us each a copy of her latest novel, *The Heritage of Hastor* (published 1975). This was a few months after the month-long workshop we did at Esalen (January 1976). You had Walter Breen come down to Big Sur for a few days. He brought along recorded music to play and demonstrate the psychological effects of different pieces of music.

Here are more details on Philip K. Dick in the 1964-1965 period:

In early 1964, the young SF writer, Grania Davidson, had recently broken up with her husband Avram Davidson (a well known SF & fantasy writer and friend of Phil's). By June 1964 Grania (and her young son) and Phil moved into a house on Lyon street in Oakland. Throughout the summer and fall of 1964, that house became a kind of salon for SF & fantasy writers including: Avram Davidson, Marion Zimmer Bradley & Walter Breen, Ray Nelson, Poul & Karen Anderson.

Shortly after Halloween, Grania Davidson moved out of Phil's house and into the Berkeley home of Marion Zimmer Bradley. Phil and his friend Jack Newkom pulled off childish pranks around Bradley's Deakin Street house -- including perhaps stealing diapers off the front porch.

By December 1964 Phil was into a new love, young Nancy Hackett. In March 1965 Nancy moved into Phil's Lyon street house. BTW: Nancy's mother Maren became Bishop James Pike's secretary and secret lover, which is how Phil got to know Pike quite well. Pike attended but did not officiate at Phil's marriage to Nancy in 1966. The third novel in the VALIS trilogy (*The Transmigration of Timothy Archer*) is based on Bishop Pike and other people in Phil's life. (It was published in 1982 after Phil's death.)

You remember Sidney Lanier knew Bishop Pike quite well. Laurance Rockefeller used to call for Jean Lanier at PCRG HQ across the street from the Grace Cathedral. Didn't you pick of the phone once with Laurance on it?

I met Phil Dick in the summer of 1964 when Ray Nelson brought him to a "Channing Club" meeting at my apartment on Dana Street in Berkeley. They were working together on a novel, *The Ganymede Takeover* (published in 1967). Everyone in the meeting (except me perhaps) had already read Phil's novel *The Man in the High Castle* -- an alternate reality tale in which the Axis nations had won World War Two. The Germans had taken over Eastern US, the Japanese had taken over the West coast, while the Rocky Mountain area was still a kind of free zone.

The next (and last) time I met Phil was in November 1971. This was just after Phil's house in San Rafael had been burglarized. Phil was freaked out by the "hit on my house" as he put it, and was staying with Avram Davidson in Berkeley. There was a birthday party for the (10 yr. old ?) son, Frodo, of Avram and Grania at the Sausallito home of Grania and her husband Dr. Steven Davis. Avram brought Phil and Frodo to Grania's party. Leslie, my wife at that time, had an afternoon play school in Berkeley, in which Frodo participated. Thus Leslie and I were invited to Frodo's birthday party in Sausallito. There were about a dozen people present, most of whom were writers. I was then writing the weekly column "The New Alchemy" on the frontiers of science. I remember discussing some of the ideas I was writing about with Jim Benford.

And yes, Jack, I have learned since that time that you knew the twin physicist brothers Jim and Greg Benford (who also write SF), when they were in graduate school.

Jim and Greg Benford, Herbie Bernstein and I were all grad students together at UCSD in the 60's. This was when George Chapline would drive down from Cal Tech in his black AC Shelby Cobra. John Wheeler, Ed Teller, Fred Hoyle were frequent visitors at Revelle College because of the Burbidges, Herbert York, Keith Brueckner, Walter Kohn ...This was the setting for Greg's "Timescape" about waves from the future in a time loop. I had the idea to make a BEC of EPR photon pairs. Greg and I worked on it briefly but nothing much came of it.

Phil seemed to be cycling between paranoia and amazing calmness and openness that evening. He had recently completed the first draft of *Flow My Tears the Policeman Said*, and he tried to talk Leslie into editing it for him. After much rewriting, it was published in 1974 and won the John W. Campbell award.

Of course, February-March 1974 was the time of Phil's experience of VALIS. Moreover, on June 7th of 1974 in the libretto of "Ezekiel's Vision" I quoted a few lines from your letter, written from Trieste (27 March 1974) -- and these words were sung by Tom Buckner, baritone (at the University Art Museum in Berkeley):

"We are creating the Qabala right now. General Relativity provides 'time machines' in the form of 'closed time-like curves'. It would be possible for a super-conscious culture to go back in historical time and create its own history on one of the space-time pages in the great gook of the cosmos."

All for now ;-)

On May 20, 2006, at 11:22 AM, Jack Sarfatti wrote:

I was at that house I think in 1965 in Berkeley. I also stayed with Lenny Susskind at that time as I recall.
On May 20, 2006, at 1:22 AM, wrote:

Jack Sarfatti wrote:

I think P.K.D. and Walter Breen knew each other?

PKD had a huge crush on a girl who was living at Walter Breen and
Marion Zimmer Bradley's house, so he used to hang around in hopes
of running into her. She wound up marrying another writer. This
was in 1965 when MZB and Walter Breen were living in Oakland
(or was it Berkeley?).

Richard Newsome

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