Oyez Oyez…Last call for the Jury in the Trial of Involution. Closing Arguments: 1 Prosecution

The closing arguments in the trial of Involution. Jury called.

Court in Session
Court in Session

All Rise

Counsel for the Prosecution.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury. You have enjoyed a prolonged recess since the last witness in which to read the book on trial. Before I urge your verdict I must remind you that readers have varied reactions to books. You are not required to assess whether it is a good or bad book but whether it merited forty five years of dominating the author and whether anyone else should give it comparative importance. It is a singular work, unable to be evaluated against others. In that sense you are called upon to judge its adventurous masquerade and its claim to authenticity. Just because it looks like a book, and quacks like a book, is it, in fact, a book? Is it fiction or non fiction? Poetry or science? One book or two? Science or art?

Where would a librarian shelve it? Under Philosophy? Literature? History? New Age? Evolution? While she is making up her mind I suggest we persuade the author to cover (with nice brown velvet) the remaining copies of the doorstop Magnum opus as literally that. Doorstops. In two hundred years they will provide archaeologists with speculation. They were to ward off the evil eye? Contain the secret doctrine of the Gods? Clean boots? Enough; you get my drift…

With all that in mind  it is now my painful duty to persuade you to find it guilty of the charges against it. To refresh you may revisit the sessions from the beginning

The Jury by John Morgan.jpg
The Jury by John Morgan” by painted by John Morgan, uploaded to Wikipedia (en) by SwampyankThe Jury by John Morgan.jpg in Wikipedia (English). Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Apart from brief reminders of the evidence against it, and the authority of the witnesses whose testimony you have heard, my appeal to you is the appeal of reason, against the sentiment you are likely to hear from my learned friend.

If you recall, the book itself relies upon one spokesman Reason, pitted against the whispering claims of Soul. Let’s just examine what that means, and why I appeal to you to let Reason guide your deliberations.

Look at the world we live in! The irrational, so called extremes of religious fanaticism are taking us to the brink of destruction. I am not suggesting this book contributes directly to that irrationality; what I am suggesting is the seeds of danger that any reliance on sentiment carries with it.

This work is an appeal to permit, no, to give prominence to the universal longing for love, and in doing so it relegates the slow and substantial achievements of reason by supplanting them with a suggestion that they THEMSELVES were guided by the irrational: the dreams, the incoherence of inspiration by genius; genius in love with ideas, or contemplation. As though the methodical painstaking history of science can be dissolved simply in the fizzy water of a new hypothesis!

While I do not deny the role of inspiration in forging great leaps of understanding what has to be achieved—and this is THE ESSENTIAL POINT—is the anchoring of inspiration to a language understood by the mass of mankind. It is the interpretation of inspiration that is the measure of its value. Dreams are personal; expressing them forces the examination of their wider relevance.

Has this book succeeded in that?

It has signally failed to do so. You have heard Professor Hardy claim it is ‘unscientific’ and essentially ‘baloney’ ( his word), you have heard Professor Anon claim it ‘slips away from being grasped’. Even the sympathetic priest the Rev TG admitted it was turning ‘everything on its head’ ( Darwin upside down.) These men are the gatekeepers in the world of rational discourse. I urge you to give heed to their views.

I would go further and invite a wider consideration. Have any of you, before this Trial encountered this Book? Heard about it? Read a review? If not, why is that? You would think the media might have run with ‘Old Woman has Big Idea’. Why didn’t they? Okay the author may not look like Madonna or have Random House behind her but you would have expected some excitement, given what she proposes?

Is it because the opinion of the world of potential readers have better things to do than struggle with something calling itself ‘symphonic prose’ to put forward an alternative THEORY OF EVERYTHING written by a NOBODY? If it was half as important to the market of ideas as it has been to the diligent author, we should have heard of it.

However sympathetic you may feel about the struggles of the Author, dominated by a deluded sense of mission I ask you to set that aside in evaluating the merits of a book seeking not merely paper to print it, trees to die in its cause, but vying for attention.

There are rational, logical, graspable books written by rational men, and yes, some of them echo elements contained within this work. If you want poetry read Dante or Milton, if you want science read Dawkins, if you want speculation read Ervin Laszlo. So let us remove this book of confusing baloney from the shelves and let those rational alternatives be more easily found. Do not mistake the few scintillating reviews by ordinary readers, thirsty for a belief in the irrational, or longing to perceive that Western Science has betrayed its promises, deflect the argument.

One of those said ‘It just feels right…’ Well, I am sure that the man who took a hammer to his mother-in-law would say exactly the same. In fact it probably felt the only thing to do at the time.

This is a test case about a market flooded with books. What we are here addressing is whether the time has come to evaluate books claiming importance that threaten the solid achievements of academic prowess, with suggestions of dubious merit, a pot-pourri, an aromatherapy, as valueless as fantasy. If you want fantasy read Harry Potter or Terry Pratchett. They do not call themselves science and are much more diverting.

It is easy at a time of crisis to suggest almost any hair-brained alternative and get away with it!

I am asking you to throw out the solid anchor of Reason and find this work guilty of all charges against it, a deluded and scientifically unproven hypothesis about the encoding of memory; inappropriate language; ill judged timing, and certainly the last, an inhumane indifference to the consequences to the author of single-handedly taking on the wall of scientific opposition and total indifference.

Her arguments may look ingenious, her scientific facts seemingly persuasive, but nobody can say anything about her qualifications for such facts or arguments. That is why we have institutions to impart rigour and peer reviews to examine that rigour. This author has not been refined in such fires of analysis. Even she is not sure, or she would not be here!

Exonerate her and you will condemn others with delusions of importance to lives spent in fruitless pursuit.

Any other verdict would simply encourage the benighted author to continue, and give encouragement to others to do likewise. You heard the author appearing as a hostile witness in this case. Why was that? Because she was as anxious as I am in seeing the book set aside and being relieved of its burden of obligation.

I urge you all to be prepared to be unpopular and find the book guilty. Such a verdict would be an act of courage. Thank you.

Jury box cropped.jpg
Jury box cropped” by Ken Lund from Reno, NV, USA – Cropped from the original, Pershing County Courthouse Jury Box. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

.Judge. We will take a short adjournment before the Defense Counsel’s closing speech. Please return at the same time tomorrow.

All Rise

Court in Session
Court in Session

* the distinguished medallist for her contribution to American Letters ( 2006)

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.

15 thoughts on “Oyez Oyez…Last call for the Jury in the Trial of Involution. Closing Arguments: 1 Prosecution”

    1. Is the book a woman Susan? Right now the Jury are about 50 /50 women (although the only painting I could find was before women sat on a Jury!) But it is the job of the prosecution to secure a guilty verdict.(And for members of the Jury to resist- as you are nicely doing) The problem with ??fiction is how much reality to give a role? Any woman-book taking on science invited this peremptory dismissal. That’s life! ( Also why everyone told me to sign it P.A. rather than Philippa! It made not a jot of difference and the Sisterhood got cross, so I lost on both counts!)

      Its my fate not only to not please everybody, but to please absolutely nobody!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “If you want poetry read Dante or Milton, if you want science read Dawkins, if you want speculation read Ervin Laszlo.” One specialist merely refers us to another, and we go away even more fragmented than we entered. But of Dante and Milton one could also ask, “Is it, in fact, a book? Is it fiction or non fiction? Poetry or science? One book or two? Science or art?” The attempts to bifurcate, to specialize, to dichotomize, giving either/or choices, gets less interesting the further we need to go to see the specialist. There is nothing in a fingernail to predict a human. We want the whole.


    1. Now there is a comment worth framing Joe! ‘There is nothing in a fingernail to predict a human. We want the whole’

      It is probably why I become increasingly suspicious of intellectual arguments, but that may have a deeper intuitive cause- because I am too old to want to master them!

      I attended a lecture last night on the Golden Section, the Golden Spiral, the Platonic and Pythagorean patterning; the Fibonacci numbers, and not only did I realise that there IS within a fingernail the prediction of the human ( the whole is within each part) but the rarer discovery that I met an academic who was gracious and introduced me to HIS audience. Now that was a rare first!

      We are making progress…


  2. The book is not a woman. The book is not page 13. The book is not a molecule or a children’s toy. The book is not a strand of the judge’s hair. Nor is the book a star, or the horizon. The book is not a tree, nor is the book a bunch of leaves raked into a pile. (Actually this is getting tiresome, word-games all the way up to nominalism. Your own impatience and vehemence is now coming through, and the book being what it is, will vibrate in others, including me, as the same impatience and vehemence, vibrations which can be directed down into the ground, causing an earthquake, or directed back at each other, causing arguments and hurt feelings.) The book isn’t even Philippa Rees. Philippa Rees is Philippa Rees, but Philippa Rees isn’t really Philippa Rees, is she? What’s in a name? I’m not John Dockus, if you like. I don’t care anymore. Silence is golden to me. I’ve always been aware of it. I know the value of all this scribbling. No book has really written itself, in fact. That would be like me trying to give myself a blowjob, while rolling like a wheel down a hill. Or Ouroboros. Is Involution Ouroboros? If it wrote itself, it eats itself too. Are we the authors of ourselves? Solipsism stands in a puddle of its own piss. I feel too small, too incomplete and imperfect to claim with any authority that God wrote the book. Who am I? A nobody. I never wrote a book. Maybe that means I’m not important that I didn’t have a book write itself through me. Anyone who says they are God is insane. “That’s life” – yes, you could say the book is life, and life never had a category, though it could be forced into one like an animal in a cage at the zoo. All the same, many zoos have become humane and those working at them treat the animals very well, even doing good conservation work for animals on the verge of extinction.

    Blah, blah, blah, is the chorus which attends me now. I’m ready for other things. I don’t really care about the fate of this book. It will take care of itself, for better or worse. It’s an animal which exists best out in the wild. That’s where it belongs. I might add, that’s where I belong too! Maybe we’ll cross paths in the jungle. I don’t like the court room, I’m leaving now, and I’m gonna slam the door behind me.


  3. Hey hey hey John. Get cross, get flippin furious, but don’t leave now! All that rant is fuel. Good healthy fuel to make the points with. Who ever claimed God wrote the book? It is only the constipation of a world that thinks it can make the judgement call on trial here. The book is just a vehicle, so ride with it… It is the world of values on trial, not because the BOOK claims anything but the right to exist. The right to be read; the right not to fit the boxes allocated to books. Finis. Stick around and hear it out?


    1. Philippa: Of course I’ll stick around! I comment without training wheels on, so the full force can be felt. This last comment of mine is out of complete respect for you, knowing you can handle anything I can dish out. I play mirror sometimes to direct back what I feel upon reading. Doesn’t really feel nice, but it’s the truth.

      P.S. I forwarded your short story “Mangrove” to my sister Amy, along with your email and Brian’s. Very helpful. My sister is sitting on a trove of valuable insights.


      1. I realised that. I respect the brutal honest, as you intuited. Nothing more affirming than an honest reaction ‘without training wheels on’. Yes , your reaction was what was hoped for to the smooth, persuasive, and ultimately heartless ( and ever-so-rational) appeal. You confirmed (in your reaction) that I had done the job better than I might have hoped. Interesting that a Jury member could get so furious as to slam the door on a virtual trial of an unread book!

        All power to your sister! Salute


  4. … Exonerate her Involution and you will condemn others with delusions of importance to lives spent in fruitless pursuit … ironic. The patronising quip flies into the face of all inspired contributions to human insights by mavericks, whose vision, passion, dedication and hard work drive innovation. The bureaucratic channels will pass judgement on what can be deemed acceptable without toppling a well-established reality. Men and women are easily silenced, unless they belong to a professional body, a club, a genre, something in a recognisable frame that advocates can openly support without losing their public reputation.
    The author may have to embrace what has been imparted to her and what she has woven into a book, Involution, even so it is also true that the book wrote her. Merit is not measured out by a culture whose fanatic rational mind-set drives the so-called irrationals into rebellious underground movements.

    Involution touches a raw nerve.

    The corpus callosum (/ˈkɔrpəs kəˈloʊsəm/; Latin for “tough body”), also known as the callosal commissure, is a wide, flat bundle of neural fibres beneath the cortex in the eutherian brain at the longitudinal fissure. It connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication.

    The function of this bridge is not well understood and insufficiently explored. I think it needs a third eye to see both worlds at the same time, which I think Philippa experienced.
    Some theories were offered: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicameralism_(psychology)

    I like Iain McGilchrist’s ideas. He is last mentioned. He wrote ‘The Master and his Emissary.’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Foreman of the Jury departs for Munich! The Court must accept the summary here offered. Iain McGilchrist’s ‘Master and His Emissary’ is a fantastic compendium of the role of left and right brain influences upon the epochs of Western thought. (The right dominated in the Classical Period and during the Renaissance and Romantic revivals- the left during the Enlightenment and Modernism) He was quoted in the Introduction and the Author was thrilled to find such corroboration. Less thrilled by his request for a hard copy of the 430 page manuscript to be posted at speed to Scotland, only to be told four months later he would have not time to read it. It was not returned either despite postage enclosed!

    It is this gulf between what is intellectually proposed, but spiritually denied by the actions that characterises almost every encounter with academia. ( See previous comment for rare exception) This, above all, fed into the decision to write it poetically, to reach the parts that intellectuals ignore-the possibility that behind the ideas there is a person. As you point out ( and thank you for mentioning it!) this Book wrote the life, was derived from life, in which there was a beating heart. BUT only the merits of the ideas ( providing the Author has the required credentials-I don’t ) engage, which is perhaps why there is such irritation with poetic writing- it eludes categorisation and therefore seems to ‘cheat’!

    Hope you come back in time for any verdict? Have a great break.


  6. Autsch, had forgotten it was McGilchrist who disappointed with his lack of time, which, while it may have been true at the time, could also have been a lack of will to engage with the book’s unusual premise.


    1. Simpler than either I’d say. He asked for it, at the double to fit a ‘window’ of opportunity to be able to read it. I’d say when you have written a blockbuster after years of incubation and delivered a beautiful egg you may not want to find another nestling alongside it. OR like Hardy it was the WIP to follow that was being anticipated.

      If reading poetry was not to his taste he knew that ab initio, and could have simply said so, as Sheldrake did! Ouch is much better as Autsch!

      Liked by 1 person

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