Tessa Dick, Philip K. Dick's fifth* and final wife, writes a brief post on her husband's religious experiences Unknown Country. The problem? The site is run by Whitley Streiber, the author of the widely-discredited book Communion. (Discredited why, exactly? Well, my favorite clue that he might be maknig things up is the bit in the sequel, Transformation, where Streiber claims to have seen aliens disguised with scarves and sunglasses complaining about Communion to a bookstore manager in Manhattan. Yeeeeah.) Writing about Philip K. Dick on Streiber's website hints that the two are somehow equivalent. At best that marginalizes Dick; at worst it paints him as a fraud.
Thomas Disch—who eloquently debunks Streiber in a review reprinted in his book On SF—did a bit of marginalizing himself in his otherwise-excellent book The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of. His chapter on religion in SF uses three main examples: Philip K. Dick, L. Ron Hubbard, and Aum Shinrikyu. This isn't exactly nice company to be in, and Disch seems to miss the real point about Dick. Not only did he never drop writing to start a multi-million-dollar religious corporation, not only did he never launch chemical attacks in major cities, he never wanted to. His religious experiences were far more likely to torpedo his career than to send it skyrocketing, so it's a big stretch to argue that he faked his religious experiences for financial gain (the unlikely claims of Anne Mini's suppressed memoir notwithstanding). It's a lot easier to argue that Whitley Streiber did that, though, and accounts of his general unpleasantness make it seem even more likely that his goal was more cash than truth. Philip K. Dick was more interested in philosophical underpinnings of the nature of reality than getting a couple million for film rights. Tessa's short piece on Streiber's site seems to put Philip K. Dick's experiences into the context of Streiber's, which I think is a big, big mistake. Streiber is never going to enter the mainstream of philosophical thought; Philip K. Dick could, and should.
Far better is her recent The Dim Reflection of Philip K. Dick. It's short—30 pages or so—but it considers Dick on his own terms, which is a far, far better way to consider him. Tessa was married to Phil during his religious experiences in 1974, making this an extremely useful firsthand account of the events of that year, their philosophical underpinnings, and their theological aftermath. Philip K. Dick's ideas are not part of the alien-abduction fad or an attempt to cash in on an outré persona; they are an honest, if eccentric, entry in a long, long line of philosophical mysticism. Tessa herself puts it best:
The message of the visions was always there in Phil's novels and stories. He tended to complicate the message with arcane interpretations and obscure terminology. However, it really is quite simple. This world is not what it appears to be, and many of the scriptures in various traditions tell us that. The Hindus describe the Veil of Maya, which disguises reality and maintains the illusion. The Bible tells us that all is vanity, that we see this world in a defective mirror, and that this world is not our home.
The world is not what it appears to be. That is absolutely the message of Philip K. Dick's fiction and non-fiction, and it's also an important—to my mind central—idea in Christianity. In Pink Beams of Light from the God in the Gutter, my book on Dick's religious experiences, I compared his ideas about the illusory nature of reality with Martin Luther's theology of the cross. According to Luther, the transcendence of God is concealed within the cross on which Christ was crucified—a Dickian idea if ever there was one. Martin Luther, the authors of the Vedas, the Apostle Paul—that is the company Philip K. Dick belongs in. Putting him in the dubious company of Whitley Streiber or L. Ron Hubbard risks marginalizing ideas that deserve better.
*Misidentified at the link in question as his fourth.
[Also of interest: Total Dick-Head's recent interview with Tessa Dick, here.]