I’m fairly convinced that my conscious and unconscious swapped over. Some time in the late 90s. It’s probably not such an uncommon occurrence. It’s less dramatic than it sounds: it was most likely just agreed that the unconscious was doing most of the driving in any case. I think I can even pinpoint the exact weekend when it happened. There’s not really space to go into the details here, and in practice it probably makes little difference, but it might explain why the nonexistence of the unconscious has recurred so much in my writing.
Sure, it looks pretty alarming in narrative terms: so what am I?
This creature from the psyche who ambushed a twentysomething Zali Krishna and ate him?
I mean for one thing that creature is also Zali Krishna, and for another it was over twenty years ago: you never met the guy! Because of course this is only a way of talking about the thing. For someone else with a different model of the self, they might describe it as the day they accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Whatever works really. No-one asks what happens to the unredeemed residue of christian.
I find it interesting that in German the word for “christian” is “Christ”. You literally become a Christ. A eschatological singularity, a noosphere, where at the End of Time everyone is Christ. In those terms it makes PKD’s little amphetamine cosmologies seems pretty tame.
To return to the original problem: if it’s about explaining what you are, this swapover between conscious and unconscious is a useful device.
Do I feel like an animal? No.
A machine? Not quite.
An angel? Not today.
The guy who crept out of my own head to fix stuff? That fits.
And what happened to Zali Krishna from the twentieth century who you replaced, you thieving bastard?
Uh, as far as I can make out, he’s eating crisps and reading magazines. Is there something he can help you with? He’s pretty busy at the moment.