Sunday, 5 August 2007

PKD's Counter-clock World ... More Synchronicity

Michael Holder has requested that I place his following comments here rather than they be lost as a response to a posting:

In your blog entry dated Thursday,15 February 2007 (titled Synchronicity - Anarch Peak)
you wrote that "... yesterday I found another synchronicity that made me very excited. In one of his earlier novels, Counter Clock World one of the main characters is somebody called Anarch Peak .. "

The entry prompted me to read Counter-clock World next. I knew nothing of the detailed content of this book, other than the general premise of lives running backwards, from the grave to the womb. Now that I have finished reading Counter-clock World, I have a couple of points to make.

I understand, your excitement at the 'synchronicity' of a central character having a very similar surname to you, that is 'the Anarch Peak'. The 'Anarch' is obviously a religious 'job title', his actual name being 'Thomas Peak', and there is also a character, (the 'Rome' contact), who identifies himself as 'Tony'.

However, it was other 'coincidences' that intrigued me. The 'Anarch Peak' is kidnapped by the powerful and mysterious organization called The People's Topical Library service, and is taken, as hostage, to a remote branch of the library service. Oddly, I had just had this book brought to the central library, from a remote branch of MY library service. And this is the only PKD book I've ever reserved from another branch of the Library Service.

But there is something far more significant than that. According to your blog entry, you only found the similarity of your name with the 'Anarch Peak' on the 14 Feb. this year, so I must assume your book ITLAD had already been printed. This makes the following coincidence even more surprising ... On page 216 of Counter-clock World, in a somewhat incidental context, PKD uses the term 'Eidolon'! As this is one of the key terms in your Daemon/Eidolon dyad concept (!!), together with the similarity of your surname with a character in the same book, I find this combined synchronicity astonishing. It would be interesting to know how many times the term 'Eidolon' appears throughout all of PKD's writings. Not very many I would suggest (but maybe more than the average author).

As you will remember if you read the book, the significance of 'the Anarch Peak' in the story, is that he has recently been 'old-born' from the dead (ie. resurrected), and has potentially dangerous knowledge about the true nature of the after-life, and also the theological and philosophical insight and vocabulary to be able to communicate that knowledge in ways that other 'old-borns' cannot. It seems that the 'Anarch Peak' has a theory of after-life/near-death experiences which makes him a potential danger to the People's Topical Library Service (whose counter-clock function it is to eradicate knowledge, by destroying books and manuscripts, rather than conserving them).

So both the 'Anarch Peak' and the 'Anthony Peake' have developed theories of after-life/near-death experiences. The similarity between you, and the character in the PKD book, would seem to have a deeper significance than simply a similarity of surname. In some respects, they (you) seem to have a functional similarity too.

You asked, "... tell me if I am placing significance where it is not but I do find this really weird ......" It seems to me to be highly significant, but no less weird for that.

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