Starting in 1951, 26 years ago, I began in my stories (and then novels) to make certain very serious guesses about the nature of reality: Questioning if it was really there, out there (not in here), and, if so, if out there, what it really was like. In Tears in ’70, just about 20 years after I began to ask, I began to try to answer. There are no answers in Tears, not even later on in Scanner — but for me as the asker in 3-74 the answer (singular) came: What is out there really is the same as what is in here really — i.e., what I call Zebra, which probably is either Christ — the cosmic Christ — or Brahman — or a reality-web forming, mandating AI-like entity which observes us, sets up problems for us, and assists us in solving them, and at the same time teaches us, and, as it teaches, sorts us into different groups for post-mortem assigning in to a totality of a hive-like corporate system. It takes great pains to occlude us perceptually, evidently not wishing to “contaminate” its results. But I did over a 26 year period ask the right questions, and so, in 3-74, it did answer, which suggests an AI knowing system once more: one must know it is there or guess a little correctly to “punch the buttons” which cause it to answer. People have not gotten it to answer before because they did not guess it was alive and hence did not question it. The universe resembles a teaching machine, and part of the problem (i.e., learning) is to discern just precisely that.

— Philip K. Dick, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, p. 250

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