Although Philip K. Dick's prodigious and disturbing imagination - the greatest science fiction novelist of the last 50 years - often makes his readers relate it to lysergic acid and other psychoactive drugs, Dick did not like acid. Although he lived in psychedelic California he only tried it once and, in his own words, it was a terrifying and hellish experience. In an excellent interview recently rescued, Dick tells about his experience with LSD:
Only take acid once I know. It was Sandoz acid, a giant horse capsule that I obtained from the University of California. A friend and I split it. And I don't know, but it must have been a milligram. It was huge, you know, we bought it for 5 dollars and took it home and for a while we just looked at it ... and we took it, and it was very strong, let me tell you.
I went straight to hell, that's what happened. I found myself in a frozen landscape and there were huge rocks, and there was a deep rumble and it was Judgment Day and God was judging me as a sinner and this lasted for thousands of years and did not improve. He just got worse and worse and suffered terrible pain, terrible physical pain, and all he could do was speak in Latin. In a shameful way, for the girl she was with thought she did it to annoy her, and continually said: Libera dominated me in die illa . You know, and: Agnus dei qui tollis peccata mundi and [...] above all: Tremens factus sum ego et timeo - timeo, which means "I fear", and I said, Release me, dominate me!, muttering like a poor dog that has been left in the rain all night. And finally, the girl said "Oh, bah, " and left the room in disgust.
Dick's reader will recognize in this some of the gnostic nightmares of his novels, particularly the idea that time stands still and is lived in a kind of spurious time of torture and deception; in this case, literally an infernal penance. The only good thing about the experience was, says Dick, that when he opened the refrigerator he saw a gigantic cavern with stalactites and stalagmites extremely beautiful. In any case, he says that after taking acid in 1964 he told him, he even begged people who did not take it. Later he would allude to his experience in some texts and compare psychedelic experiences with mental illnesses.