Quotations by Dick, Philip K.


It was always my hope in writing novels and stories which asked the question, “what is reality?”, to someday get an answer. This was the hope of most of my readers, too. Years passed. I wrote over thirty novels and over a hundred stories and I still couldn’t figure out what was real. One day a girl college student in Canada asked me to define reality for her, for a paper she was writing for her philosophy class. She wanted a one-sentence answer. I thought about it and finally said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” That’s all I could come up with. That was back in 1972. Since then I haven’t been able to define reality any more lucidly.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) American writer
“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)
Added on 18-Jan-19 | Last updated 18-Jan-19
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The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do and, in addition, will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people. They say “no” to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds, but in their quiet refusals to commit villainies. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) American writer
“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)
Added on 28-Feb-19 | Last updated 28-Feb-19
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One time I figured out this: if you aren’t brave, it doesn’t matter what other virtues you have, because you aren’t going to act them out. What good does it do to be able to see truth if you’re too chickenshit to act on the basis of what you see? I finally reduced all human virtues to one: bravery.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) American writer
(Attributed)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Fear can make you do more wrong than hate or jealousy. If you’re afraid, you don’t commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) American writer
Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (1974)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) American writer
Introduction, I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon, ed. Mark Hurst and Paul Williams (1985)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 28-Nov-12
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