I think your concern about Alan is somewhat legitimate. My silly reply was just that, silly, although I do sometimes wonder whether the really crazy people aren't the ones outside the institutions.But I only do that in jest.
But to be serious about the subject, I agree with you, it's not healthy to dig deep into "ultimate reality". I think Alan is making a huge mistake diverting too much attention to this kind of stuff, and apparently at the expense of more important things such as education and career. Not only does he, by his own admission, suffer the consequences imposed on him by society, the real danger lies in losing his mind. I tried to tell him that in many different ways, both here on the forum as well as privately, but to my despair he turns every single piece of advice I give him into inspiration for yet another trip. I don't know what to do, I don't think there's anything that can be done.
I hold Dick partially accountable for that. Alan is obviously extremely disturbed by Dick's ideas, and I know the power of it because I've been under its spell for a while myself. I haven't so much figured out what's wrong with Dick's paper, what I did realize was that his ideas are dangerous to one's mental health, so I just decided to ignore them, and that's what I have several times asked Alan to do. But the spell must have been stronger for him.
By the same token, I think this forum itself is crazy. Most of the stuff that is said here cannot be said in public, which is probably what attracts people to it.
Anyway, those are my 2 cents.