In which I respond here because I’m no longer in college.
While the characters – so far at least – are so engaging that it’s worth reading, there’s a great deal of vocabulary. Some of it is off-putting, because I already possess a reasonably massive vocabulary, with as solid a relationship with modern English’s predecessors as a product of public schooling can reasonably expect to have, but on some pages there will be three or four – or even more – words I need to look up. Is this communication, or is it masturbation? Who was he writing for? (And will I ever be one of them?)
It doesn’t escape me that the more words one has, the more topics one can think about… I mean to say, can we think about something without having first fashioned words to describe it? I don’t think we can. So: esoteric topics require their own jargon. Fine.
Anyway. Point is, athiests: always pissed off because  they can’t force themselves to experience God the same way they can force material things to interact;  the existence of suffering in the world upsets them so much that no clear thinking can be done about God or love after the topic of pain is introduced;  they require physical, dimensional proof of a force that possesses neither characteristic directly (but only indirectly, as a side-effect); and,  if they’re thinky, they tend to go on and on obfuscating and defining and defending and thrashing about and making the entire thing so fucking achingly complicated that no one has the energy to enter into meaningful dialog with them. Which they take to mean they’re right.
From VALIS (First Vintage Books Edition, July 1991, trade paperback, pg. 38):
If you grant the possibility of a divine entity, you cannot deny it the the power of self-disclosure; obviously any entity or being worthy of the term “god” would possess, without effort, that ability. The real question (as I see it) is not, Why theophanies? but, Why aren’t there more? The key concept to account for this is the idea of the deus absconditus, the hidden, concealed, secret or unknown god. For some reason Jung regards this as a notorious idea. But if God exists, he must be a deus absconditus–with the exception of his rare theophanies, or else he does not exist at all. The latter view makes more sense, except for the theophanies, rare though they be. All that is required is one absolutely verified theophany and the latter view is voided.
Why aren’t there more, he asks. One absolutely verified theophany, he wants.
Proof. It’s always proof, it’s always, If god exists, where’s the proof? So what would you accept as a “single, absolutely verified theophany,” then? What does absolutely verified mean? Burning bush? Pillar of salt? Both utterly mundane, aren’t they? What, a healing? A visitation? All have happened, been documented, been accepted by millions – just not good enough for you, you’re clear-minded, logical. A parted sea? Hell, I’ve heard “scientific” explanations of how the Red Sea very well could have parted, just as described, no miracle required.
Point being, there is no proof. None. Can’t be. The concept of proof is flawed. We’re talking about God, here, a thing outside of space and time and also within; conscious, infinite, eternal, utterly foreign, and no farther from each of us than our own breath. Because it is us. And also because no matter what non-likely or even impossible event occurs, you will say, Where’s the proof? You will say, The fact that that happened means by definition that it was not impossible, and is therefore not a miracle, and where’s the proof?
When people want proof of God, I say, Do you know what love is? Of course, they say, Everybody knows what love is, right? I say, Well, prove it. Prove to me that love exists. Define it empirically, measure it, give me one absolutely verified instant of love. I will say, No matter what you offer me, I will refute it. Because no one can prove love.
It’s been said, in more than one tradition, that God is love. And if you accept the existence of love, whatever nebulous force love might be, then what’s the problem with accepting the existence of god? Hello, aren’t they the same thing, both mundane and vast and non-material and deeply intimate and redemptive and painful and beautiful and–? Don’t we kill and die for both? Don’t we find our highest and lowest selves in both? Yeah? So, what’s the problem then?
We all know what love is without proof. We know love by experience. Find God the same way. If you can’t, the flaw’s in you.
It’s the anguish I respond to, I suppose. Reading these sorts of treatises knots me up because the seekers with all their education and jargon and eidetic knowledge of historical events are so deeply hurt that they’re surrounded by us: the believers, the deluded. I have a lot of sympathy for it, for anyone living in a world where you’re the only torch-bearer and everyone else is an idiot. It’s hard work, being the only sane one in a sea of crazy people.
We’ll see where Dick takes me, but I think his pink-laser god’s going to turn out to be another finite thing, an alien or a psychosis. For all his genius I don’t think he’s going to break through all of this to get to That. This book is going to kick my ass; make me wish I could argue back in the same language, force me to realize I can’t; awake in me compassion for that depth of panic and anguish and need to resolve the world into a place that makes fucking rational sense; in general annoy me and bully me and evoke a response in me… God, I love a good book.