Excerpted from Philip K. Dick’s 1981 science fiction novel VALIS (chapter 12):
I remembered back to an incident-more than an incident-involving my son Christopher. In March 1974 during the time that VALIS overruled me, held control of my mind, I had conducted a correct and complex initiation of Christopher into the ranks of the immortals. VALIS’s medical knowledge had saved Christopher’s physical life, but VALIS had not ended it there.
This was an experience which I had treasured. It had been in utter stealth, concealed even from my son’s mother.
First I had fixed a mug of hot chocolate. Then I had fixed a hot dog on a bun with the usual trimmings; Christopher, young as he was, loved hot dogs and warm chocolate.
Seated on the floor in Christopher’s room with him, I-or rather VALIS in me, as me-had played a game. First, I jokingly held the cup of chocolate up, over my son’s head; then, as if by accident, I had splashed warm chocolate on his head, into his hair. Giggling, Christopher had tried to wipe the liquid off; I had of course helped him. Leaning toward him, I had whispered:
“In the name of the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit.” No one heard me except Christopher. Now, as I wiped the warm chocolate from my hair, I inscribed the sign of the cross on his forehead. I had now baptized him and now I confirmed him; I did so, not by the authority of the church, but by the authority of the living plasmate in me: VALIS himself. Next I said to my son, “Your secret name, your Christian name, is-” And I told him what it was. Only he and I are ever to know; he an I and VALIS.
Next, I took a bit of bread from the hot dog bun and held it forth; my son-still a baby, really-opened his mouth like a little bird, and I placed the bit of bread on it. We seemed, the two of us, to be sharing a meal; an ordinary simple, common meal.
For some reason it seemed essential-quite crucial-that he take no bite of the hot dog meat itself. Pork could not be eaten under these circumstances; VALIS filled me with this urgent knowledge.
As Christopher started to close his mouth to chew on the bit of bread, I presented him with the mug of warm chocolate. To my surprise-being so young he still drank normally from his bottle, never from a cup-he reached eagerly to take the mug; as he took it, lifted it to his lips and drank from it, I said, “This is my blood and this is my body.”
My little son drank, and I took the mug back. The greater sacraments had been accomplished. Baptism, then confirmation, then the most holy sacrament of all, the Eucharist: Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
“The Blood of out Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.”
This moment is most solemn of all. The priest himself has become Christ who offers his body and blood to the faithful, by a divine miracle.
Most people understand that in he miracle of transubstantiation the wine (or warm chocolate) becomes the Sacred Blood, and the wafer (or bit of hot dog bun) becomes the Sacred Body, but few people even within the churches realize that the figure who stands before them holding the cup is their Lord, living now. Time has been overcome. We are back almost two thousand years: we are not in Santa Ana, California, USA, but in Jerusalem, about 35 C.E.
What I ad seen in March 1974 when I saw the superimposition of ancient Rome and modern California consisted of an actual witnessing of what is normally seen by the inner eyes of faith only.
My double-exposure experience had confirmed the literal – not merely figurative – truth of the miracle of the mass.
As I have said, the technical term for this is anamnesis: the loss of forgetfulness; which is to say, the remembering of the Lord and the Lord’s Supper.
I was present that day, the last time the disciples sat at table. You may believe me; you may not. Sed per spiritum sanctum dico; haec veritas est. Mihi crede et mecum in aeternitate vivebis.
My Latin is probably faulty, but what I am trying to say, haltingly, is: “But I speak by means of the Holy Spirit; that is so. Believe me and you shall live with me in eternity.”