Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So Can You!

Maze of Death deals with a group of 14 people who have been brought to a planet called Delmak-O. They are supposed to colonize it, but things go awry. More on that later though.

The colonists share a religion that PKD made up for the novel. The religion's holy book is called How I Rose From the Dead in My Spare Time and So Can You! It's kind of like a 22nd Century Self-Help book that became a religion. It's written by the "great 21st Century Communist Theologian" Egon Spectowsky. One of the ideas attributed to Spectowsky is the ideas that "people are prisoners of [their] own preconceptions and expectations . . . And that one of the conditions of the Curse is to remain mired in the quasi-reality of those proclivities. Without ever seeing reality as it actually is." 

(1) This excerpt of Spectowsky's philosophy is heavily indebted to Gnosticism, and (2) this quote captures the meta-themes of most of PKD's work. This is one of the reasons why Maze of Death is such an interesting read for all true Boxers of the universe.

Finally, I'd like to point out the .knowdice photo on this page. I believe it was taken somewhere in Northern Europe at the turn of the century. I feel like it evokes many of the same feelings as this 1977 Bantam Maze of Death cover. 

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