Arthur Koestler at the Witness Box- well maybe?

Arthur Koestler endorses Involution-An Odyssey. From his perspectives on synchronicity.

Continues from previous post

Judge. (to Jury) I call the Defence to put its case for the first Theory of Involution.

Counsel for the Defence. I now call Dr.Arthur Koestler.

Arthur Koesler Statue in Budapest by Fekist Courtesy Wikimeda
Arthur Koestler Statue in Budapest by Fekist Courtesy Wikimedia

PROS. Objection Your Honour. The Prosecution was not advised of this witness. The dead are not usually present.

DEF. The Defence were not advised either, m’lud. There was no way of knowing whether this witness would appear. That, I’d say, gives no advantage that requires a ruling.

Judge. Objection over-ruled.

DEF. Dr Koestler, it is good of you to appear before this Court.

Koestler. I was summoned to appear. I thought; so to comply.

DEF Well not many with your excuse answer that summons. Would they did! Think of the murders we could solve without Juries. To the point. Dr. Koestler you were among fifty people to whom the Theory of Involution was sent in 1970. Do you recall the occasion?

Koestler. Indeed I do. Firstly because I neglected to read it for about eight years, which was very remiss, and hard on the poor Author, but because it gave me grounds for hope…

DEF  Of what exactly?

Koestler. That my own work had some promise of continuation. One likes to live on, even when dead. We, by that I mean I and the Author, were very much on the same wavelength, which I now know to have been a valid intuition.

DEF Before we get to your privileged perspective, (because I am not sure the Court can crane its neck sufficiently), let us turn to the wavelength. What wavelength?

Koestler. A wavelength of synchronous thought: Synchronicity as I explained in The Roots of Co-incidence was fundamental in my ideas. Rather than occasional, I proposed they were a constant. You seldom look deep enough to see clearly: instead odd encounters are dismissed as chance occurrence. For constancy there has to be an underpinning causality outside of time. Now and eternity are the same place: Instant creation makes thought itself a priori and material events merely a consequence. For as long as science gives primacy to the material this idea will be rejected. Naturally.

The attraction (synchronicity) between coherent vibrations, is the very opposite to competitive Darwinian evolution. Involution stressed the oscillation between fission and fusion. Fusion is in evidence throughout scientific thought in such similar radical ideas synchronising in different people widely separated geographically, like crystals never seen before; or habits evolving in different populations without any contact between them. More tellingly in instances of Extra Sensory Perception, or telepathy, working instantaneously…

PROS Objection! Mr Koestler’s ideas are irrelevant to this case. Not only have they been widely discredited, but we are examining the value of Involution, not his inflated publishing record!

Judge Objection sustained.

DEF. Mr Koestler. Did your support for Involution stem from its agreement with your own ideas rather than any intrinsic merits of its own?

Koestler. My own vested interest in promoting its ideas played a part, in exactly the same way as the vested interests of Professor Hardy caused him to reject it. The difference lies in the reasons. Why does a court summon expert witnesses if every opinion is discredited for being pre-existent? What are ‘experts’ if not those with existent knowledge? Or, in some cases,as we have seen, ‘other agendas’ that believe ideas belong to them exclusively?

DEF Touché. Have your ideas been, as my learned friend claims ‘widely discredited’.

Koestler. They were met with as much hostility as I predicted Involution would receive. Discredited? No. Disliked perhaps. But no longer. Entanglement is now the buzz phenomenon, everything affects everything else in the quantum world. What is mind but a quantum event, unpredictable, timeless, unbound by the speed of light, able to cross infinite distances instantaneously…?

DEF Or settle on Leicester Square on a Tuesday? But not, it seems, able to penetrate the stone wall of ‘received opinion’?

Koestler. Adherence to ‘received opinion’ is a kind of collective thought as well, I’d call it a small stone in a great many shoes; consensus jack-boots. Unfortunately it traps imagination from taking flight. Since imagination has access to deeper understanding that is the misfortune of science. It limps or plods through well worn tracks in blinkers like a Clydesdale. Handsome, steady, but unimaginative.

DEF Is this what Involution was attacking?

Koestler. From memory I recall it did not so much attack as show the insufficiency of the scientific rejection of intuitive or maverick impulse, whether in a mongoose grabbing a snake behind the head, or a genius grabbing an idea from the opposite end..

DEF As you did?

Koestler. I like to think so. I proposed an alternative to the reductionism of taking things apart into component simple elements: Instead I built backwards seeing each form as a holon building towards holons of greater complexity. Thus each retains its integrity as a complex system, but becomes a stage towards a greater integrated complexity. It implies that the future has causal influence; pulls towards a larger field of integration. Each system forms a stage ‘towards’ rather than a component ‘of’ something else. I was not the first to suggest that. Jan Smuts, a compatriot of the Author, first anticipated the validity of this approach. It does of course imply an impetus to progress, rather than haphazard incidental change emerging from the past or present.

DEF. Would you say the current state of the World shows evidence of progress?

Koestler. Yes and No. I think the violent fundamentalism is the fight put up against dissolution. There seems a sense of impending unification, and the loss of power both in capitalism and religious institutions. People fear loss, and loss of narrow power is imminent.

DEF. Returning to your ideas of holons and so called progress…Why is this important, if it is true?

Koestler. It is now probably too late for it to have the importance it might have forty years ago. It means seeing each holon ( whatever the organism might be) as perfected and integral. It might share elements common to others, but uses them in a unique way. It should, if understood, undermine the reductionist attitude that finds the ghost in a machine only by breaking it apart, sometimes in the process destroying it. It is only the whole that explains the parts, not the other way round. Science has now started fracturing and replacing components of DNA, without understanding its origins. Like everything in nature, it is shaped by what was, and what is to be. Interfering with that is not unlike splitting the atom, the fall out is unknown.

Rubiks cube solved.jpg
Rubik’s cube solved” by Mike Gonzalez  – Work by Mike Gonzalez . Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Think of a Rubik’s cube. It has six faces, each deemed harmonious when of uniform colour. That is the surface and in science every organism is envisaged rather like that: They all appertain to a single shape, but none of the faces appear to relate to any other. Science examines and manipulates them in isolation, and what is on the ‘inside’ is hidden from it. It makes assumptions about that inner core, but can never observe, or measure it, or its effect upon the surface. That surface view characterises reductionist thinking.

Inside-out torus (animated, small)

Instead envisage an organism as a sphere, or better still a torus donut, where any part of the surface is related to every other part, and all of it governs each part of it. It is recapitulated in each embryo’s development where you find the surface cells flowing inwards to centre the brain and spinal cord. The outside surface becomes the ‘registering’ inside. That is involution’s physical equivalent, and the likely evidence of it’s truth.

“Gastrulatsiooni toimumine” by Aveav – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If the future has a causal pull towards a converging integration the encoding of that record through historical time explains the fine tuning of each to the whole. Far better and more persuasively than accidental and divergent evolution ever can. Each organism is both a holon and part of a greater holon, the ultimate one being the Universe.

If that became the scientific approach it would seek ‘towards’ not ‘from’. Where is this going?’ would be more often asked than ‘where did this come from?’ Notice the distinction between ‘is’ and ‘did’. One continues, the other has already happened. That is science’s time bound emphasis on the past.

DEF And you could find this in The Theory of Involution?

Koestler. It did not require much extrapolation. If each new step in the recovery of past memory was also the future of scientific progress, the past was simultaneously the future. Creation was NOW, limited by acceptance (or mostly lack thereof). The limits of the past understanding was a ball and chain making for conservation, the future a deep summons to those who could hear it.

DEF You say it is now something you have validated since your death. Please explain.

Koestler. The fact that I am here should not require further words. I continue to exist, outside my Parkinson’s infected body, which I discarded. I was summoned, and I registered that summons. Hence the evidence of a single ‘field’ of which you, embodied, and I , disembodied , provides the QED. One field, some call the Akasha, integrates everything, at different levels of comprehension. You see only half, the embodied half. I see both; the seeming solid material and the non material. Involution sought to bring out that comprehension for science. Unfortunately, 45 years ago, science was not ready for it. That was why I was pessimistic as to its chances of acceptance. It is now becoming commonplace with books like Laszlo’s ‘The Self Actualising Cosmos, a work which suggests the Cosmos itself has mind moving towards spiritual unity, the final holon of everything.

I have also made a study of scientific stubbornness, or as the author now puts it ‘antigen attack from the body politic’. This continues in this debate does it not?

DEF Dr Koestler. In you first letter to the Author you say ‘Needless to say I agree with much, if not most of what you say… What did you have reservations about?

Koestler. At the time I was not sure about her conjectures concerning junk DNA, as the source of memory storage, or not as rigidly as it seemed to imply. It seemed too static a conjecture for something so dynammic, but I might have misunderstood. It could well be the resonating and coherent matrix of integration, the means through which each has access to the All. The wormholes of instant communication perhaps…

DEF  And now?

Koestler. Undoubtedly DNA resonates to the Akasha, in terms of integrating the individual’s access to it, and manifests the scars of past life memories. There is considerable evidence that scars from past life trauma often appear in the body of the next life; in physical structures, club feet, port wine stains, skeletal weaknesses as well as mental flexibility and  creative talent, notably inexplicable genius.

If that happens it suggests that the soul imprints its ‘structure’ upon the new DNA rather than deriving it from DNA. While children resemble their parents physically, emotionally and mentally they bring qualities with them. In that sense we choose our parents and bring our emotional baggage with us. DNA structure is a conversation between past and future. I just had not made that jump at the time because DNA was understood to manufacture proteins and little more. We are all tethered by the prevailing ideas, even when we think we have gone beyond them. No doubt I was guilty of that too.

DEF  IN the same letter you also expressed doubt about whether Involution would ever be likely to find a publisher. Despite that you suggested that the Author should expand her thesis. Why did you encourage her to further work with little hope of publication?

Koestler. If the Akasha retains everything, all experience, all interaction, the thinking itself, and expressing the ideas alone makes a difference. Mankind’s limitations, not even clever Oxbridge ones, and certainly not the self-interest of publishers, do not limit what is beyond him, or the direction of travel. By formulating a comprehensive thesis the Author would embed it in something beyond science. Science will get there eventually. I made that clear to her in subsequent correspondence.

DEF Thank you Dr Koestler. You have been most enlightening. No further questions.

Counsel for the Prosecution.

PROS Dr Koestler… Dr Koestler?… DR KOESTLER?
He has evaporated! Your honour I object, I must be allowed to put my questions.

Judge. It seems your initial objection has now been heeded. It may be well to object less strenuously next time.

All Rise.

Court in Session
Court in Session

Author: philipparees

A writer ( mostly narrative poetry) of fiction and non-fiction. Self publisher of fiction and Involution-An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God (Runner-up Book of the Year (2013), One time builder ( Arts centre) Mother of four daughters: Companion of old man and old dog: One time gardener, lecturer, wannabe cellist, mostly enquirer of 'what's it all about', blogger and things as yet undiscovered.

11 thoughts on “Arthur Koestler at the Witness Box- well maybe?”

  1. Good call.
    I read ‘The Roots of Coincident in 1974. Hurrah, I thought … the reductionist attitude that finds the ghost in a machine only by breaking it apart, sometimes in the process destroying it … It is only the whole that explains the parts, not the other way round.
    Right … Sample – each embryo’s development.

    Where is this going? What’s emerging? Is what I ask my clients.
    … The future a deep summons to those who could hear it …

    Koestler, like others, must have felt his professional status as limiting. Even today scientists hesitate to credit any non-scientist, poet, novelist, let alone women as such, to inspire the scientific dialogue.


    1. Always look forward to your comments. I think Koestler a very great intuitive. His Act of Creation much read! He was rejected for so many reasons by different groups, and given his output stoical in refusing to be discouraged. He was a populist which got one pretty condemned by serious science; not so much now with Dawkins as ‘unpopulist’ cheer-leader. Better to be hated than ignored!

      Koestler’s support, late in coming, always kept my faith alive, but he was freer than those who held an academic chair, or taught, which I don’t think he ever had to. Equally interesting that I have never had any interest from the Koestler Foundation- despite many approaches. That’s what happens when a man gets institutionalized. The pedestal gets higher the longer they are dead!

      Apropos women, Koestler did not have an untarnished reputation. I was interested in comments from John Dockus speculating on whether being a woman was my undoing, before I was ever laced into the argument. That was good coming from a younger man.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Now this is getting entertaining, more to my liking. The atmosphere of the last court session was stuffy and gloomy. I imagine Plato coming back from the dead absolutely intrigued in contemplative wonder of Holons in relation to his Forms. A cosmic cop dips his torus donut into the Milky Way, takes a bite out of it, and it turns inside out and grows back into shape. Midway through the session, one of my favorites, Diogenes the Cynic in his tub fitted with wheels, rolls in, keeping the wheels deliberately squeaky, making a whole lot of noise with a smirk on his face, holding up his lantern in search of an honest man.

    I wanted to introduce myself to Course Of Mirrors. I turn with my back to you, pull my blazer over my head, bend down and pivot around facing you, and when I straighten up I’m the cloaked mirror-faced figure in Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon. You’re shocked and gasp. I chuckle and remove the mirror from the front of my face, and formally bow: How do you do. I like your comments. Love the excerpts from Rumi you posted on J. Linker’s post on Sappho, and the observation. Other comments you’ve made too give me good vibes about you.

    I wonder if either of you ever heard of this incident involving Theodor Adorno. It’s both illuminating and heartbreaking. I have a modest brain and there’s much, much I don’t understand, but I’m fond of Adorno. What I’ve read of him I just sense his heart in the right place. As I wrote to you and Brian George, Philippa, I’m fond of cranks and misanthropes, and Adorno was one. But not by choice. It wasn’t just a put on with him, an affectation. He experienced a lot in his lifetime which would and did break and silence the majority. If I was in attendance of this protest incident, I’d probably have snickered and stared (because I like breasts) but then become distraught because Adorno certainly didn’t deserve this. It’s an example of the younger generation not recognizing beyond appearances one of their own if the rings are followed back to their heart and center. It seems to me to be an instance where the acorn doesn’t recognize the oak tree.

    From “The Tomato that launched a women’s revolution, by Alan Nothnagle: “… a protest of a different kind just seven months later had utterly heartbreaking consequences. On April 22, 1969, the great German-Jewish philosopher Theodor Adorno, one of the founders of the renowned Frankfurt School for Social Research, arrived at his lecture hall at the University of Frankfurt to deliver his “Introduction to Dialectical Thought.” Adorno had spent the war years in the US, and after his return to Germany he embraced the budding student movement, even visiting some SDS members in jail. Upon hearing of Ohnesorg’s killing, he even went so far as to say that in 1960s Germany the poor students “are playing the role of the Jews” – which is a rather remarkable statement to come from the lips of a Holocaust survivor who once said that it was impossible to write poetry after Auschwitz.
    But for some impatient activists, even the kindly but pedantic Adorno, who insisted on painting the walls of his lecture hall battleship gray so that his listeners could never be distracted from his lectures for even a moment, had finally become yet another symbol of the dreaded “Establishment.” He had also outraged many earlier that spring when he panicked at the sight of a horde of Spontis occupying his building – this violent action probably reminded him of the old days, when the Nazis brutally hounded him out of Germany – and called the police. Yes, it was time to take the old man down. So just as he started to speak, SDS members in the audience started to jeer at him. A perplexed Adorno stopped and asked the students whether they wanted to hear the lecture or not. At that moment three young women in black leather jackets stood up and approached Adorno at his desk. First they sprinkled flower petals on his head and kissed him, then all at once they snapped open their jackets and flashed three sets of naked breasts just inches from the old man’s face.

    Adorno was dumbfounded. He jumped to his feet, clutching his briefcase before his face as if his life depended on it. And perhaps it did. Historian Guido Knopp, at that time a student seated in the front row, watched in horror as tears streamed down the great philosopher’s cheeks. An assistant led Adorno out of the room, treading on leaflets the SDS had just distributed bearing the prophetic words “Adorno as an institution is dead.” This would be his last lecture. Adorno finally died of heart failure three months later.”


  3. I just read this Philippa and am absolutely gobsmacked, enthralled, enchanted – I’ll definitely re-read … it all comes together so well. Koestler is the right (write) one for the defence. Good on him. Thank you.


    1. I know I break all the rules, Susan. Not less than 500 words, not delivered in headlined soundbites, so any reader is a dedicated friend! Thanks for calling, reading and getting something out of it. There will be an interesting corollary to Koestler’s support anon!


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