Oyez .Same Jury: Second Summary: Defense Closing Speech before the Verdict. Please pay attention.

The Trial of Involution. Final Defense Speech before the Verdict.

Counsel for the Defense. ( Closing Speech) 

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.

I thank my learned friend for making my speech to you much easier. His Reason, it would seem, is merely the surface of reliance upon traditional authority, Professors with a vested interest in suppression ( like Alister Hardy and Professor Anon) are unwilling to consider an author untainted by their own influence and running free. Rein her in, is the essence of it.

He fails to mention those, like Konrad Lorenz and Arthur Koestler, who supported the scientific hypothesis ab initio, (and who were dismissed by these later and more arrogant witnesses) or those encountering the Author, like Canon Milford,whose enquiry was both modest and thoughtful and informed by their own long deliberations on parallel ideas in Teilhard de Chardin. Clearly so called Reason has tipping points of view. Yet you are called upon to put full weight upon it!

But I am not going to argue with Reason. Unlike the author who does that throughout the book through the voice of Soul, I am well aware that, in any challenging encounter with reason, only reason itself is re-enforced, but not truth. This book was written to undermine the strength of Reason, so why would I assist Reason to regain the throne?

What I appeal to is something different entirely: Instinct.

Instinct and your own psychological experiences of life and relationships.These are the questions I would like you to ask yourselves.

This book has come to trial with the consent of the Author. Why would an author consent to the potential destruction of a book she has spent a lifetime researching and writing?

Why would she invite the testimony of those bent upon ridiculing it?

Why were the witnesses summoned to support it; the Rev TG; Arthur Koestler; Konrad Lorenz and Canon Milford struck not so much by the intellectual claims of the work, but the self critical and doubtful questions of the author. Is calling them here in public not further evidence of those qualities they all referred to?

Are those the qualities of fanaticism, self-aggrandizement or delusion? Is there any evidence that the book prevailed upon her better nature and distorted it?

Or is what she said— that she would like to hear an honest verdict by a disinterested Jury, exactly and precisely BECAUSE of self doubt? She believed she had something of value to offer. She spent the best part of a life acquiring the requisite vocabulary. Of course the indifference must occasion her to question…yes…even her own sanity!

The Author has little life left. Given that, her choices are simple. Give up pushing a weight up a hill like Sisyphus and let it slide inevitably into oblivion or, (and this is the importance of this Jury decision), be encouraged to continue looking for an occasional reader whose life might, just might, be changed by the work?

You may think that a verdict of guilty would relieve her of her burden. In one way you would be right, (for the years remaining). It would, however, be a relief paid for by laying waste a meaningless life already spent, seventy odd years. Think about that.

The book itself refers to many notable people who died before the value of their contribution was ever recognised. The author knew the risks in the very subject matter she chose. She must have been well prepared for both ignominy and anonymity.

Why then has she brought the book to trial?

Could it be that after all that it required, including accusations of insanity, and incarceration in a mental hospital that she still retains a small flame of belief in its merits?

Not for her, but for the world heading for hell at a gallop? Who else is it for? Now?There is no glory to be had from a belated limping existence.

My learned friend has urged you to rely on Reason. I now ask reason to submit to deeper reason, psychological truth. It does not accumulate, it ‘divines’. It sees the whole, not the parts.

The Author’s testimony referred to the very strength of being anonymous, with nothing to lose but her life, no reputation, no standing, just the time and discipline to make a difference.

The book may be superficially guilty of the charges brought against it, but only judged against the weighing of established precepts, those heavy weights forged by vested interest, jealousy, self-preservation. Or the books already successful? The approved ‘genres’ with Dewey numbers? Are those the weights by which weightless inspiration can be measured? Or finding a new continent across the ice-flow, consciousness not yet mapped?

This book may not reach many, but I urge you to give it the wings of your approval to let it try. Shelley it was who said ‘Poets and philosophers are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.’ For him that legislation was the battle against revolution and oppression.He saw no gulf between poetry and politics, this book likewise sees no gulf between poetry and hard science. That gulf only exists in other minds. Those intent upon its relegation.

There is, as we have surely seen, oppression in the barring of the unorthodox opinion by the institutions of science. We heard of her demolition by the Epiphany Philosophers in Cambridge. The book is full of such instances; its rosary is threaded (and shredded) on them.

Courtroom Drawing Beineke Library Wikimedia Commons

Poetry and philosophy’s legislation is engraved upon freedom, the freedom to be susceptible to the muscle of metaphor, to engage emotionally but that does not imply irrationally. Rationality has not proved adequate or even sufficient a guide, as the world about us amply shows.

To quote Adrienne Rich* But when poetry lays its hand on our shoulder we are, to an almost physical degree, touched and moved. The imagination’s roads open before us, giving the lie to that brute dictum, “There is no alternative”.

This poetic history of Western thought might just ease a few into an alternative road, a new comprehension of how we arrived at the dominance of rationality and materialism, and why we are so embedded in the suck of its safety. Like a quagmire it seems to support our weight while we inexorably slowly sink.

Involution-An Odyssey does not destroy the material world, merely reveals its porous and transient nature, one that makes it permeable to thought. That alone is worth a punt, wouldn’t you say? A new kind of creative thought is hardly an invitation to extremism!

There is always that in poetry which will not be grasped, which cannot be described, which survives our ardent attention, our critical theories, our late-night arguments…’

So do not rely upon the dismissal of Professor Anon who said he could not grasp this work.  Grasping a butterfly invariably kills it.

Let your deliberations rest upon instinct instead, and watch it fly.

I invite you to dismiss all charges and find the book ‘Not Guilty’.

Judge. I urge the Jury to take time to consider these closing statements, and return, when you are ready, to deliver your verdict in the boxes provided.

All Rise.

Court in Session
Court in Session

* the distinguished medallist for her contribution to American Letters (an article in the Guardian)

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.

10 thoughts on “Oyez .Same Jury: Second Summary: Defense Closing Speech before the Verdict. Please pay attention.”

  1. Hi Philippa:

    I got into a back and forth at another blog featuring art, and the blogger, older than I am, actually has great taste and is intelligent, I love many of the artists he features, but he’s very prickly, to such an extent I tried to point out to him that it’s the reason few leave comments. A contentious personality. I told him leaving a comment at his blog is like stepping into a ring of fire. One must risk getting burned. He abhors psychology and despises most contemporary art, has deep respect for older, more substantial forms of art which display more discipline and craft and appreciates outsider artists too. I feel a genuine kinship with him in this, though I’m also open-minded to contemporary developments, seeing how they’re all manifestations of the zeitgeist and tell us something of what’s going on in the collective soul of the people. Craziness tells us something about so-called normality. Intense spiritual denial has a lesson to teach too, has a moral built into its fibers which with human beings practicing it, will eventually break out through them and the truth of it will be revealed. I got him eventually to recognize that psychology in itself isn’t the problem, but what’s been made of it, observing that maybe it has generally followed the same trajectory as art, having been gutted and emptied and made into conceptual nonsense which feeds neither heart nor soul. So we have pop psychology and new age shit, wishy-washy stuff which aims not at revealing the truth so much as making those who get involved with it feel good. But fundamentally psychology exists in the same way as philosophy, and can’t be gotten rid of. You can’t dismiss it wholesale without it eventually gathering force and breaking with violence through the back door, shocking one in an unexpected moment. It’s profoundly wedded to life processes and to language itself. You try to take psychology out of language and you end up with positivism and its mentally tortured forms, which in extremis turns into the same conceptual nonsense that he claims to despise. He ended up agreeing with me up to a point, but not long after, when I was just being my natural self, honest about what I think and exploring the topic he offered up for discussion, as present in heart and mind as I am here, he exclaimed in reply that most everything I wrote was nearing “psychobabble”, threatening to cut me off again. At core I share some fundamental values with this blogger I mention, but I disagree with him also about certain things, not wanting to cut out what is part of a whole process of thinking, narrowing my mind into this laser which cuts holes in everything, or to dry myself out into an analytical twittering machine. He just hates too much and is too angry. Hard to get near him. My first interaction with him, he ended up erasing everything I wrote, including his own comments to me. He just deleted all of it. At first I was stung, but not long after I was surprised how quickly the hurt wore off and then suddenly it didn’t bother me. I shrugged and went onto other things. (I can honestly say that interaction with you and Brian George, and I could put Joe Linker in here too, has significantly helped me achieve an equanimity, more of this instinctive sense for the wholeness which is larger than any of us.) Then around a week passed, and I checked back at this particular blogger’s blog and, not a single other comment appearing there, he reposted one of my comments, and I replied, beginning with an apology and then moving into the middle ground, respecting his points, and since then we’ve had a more productive interaction. I sincerely like him, having gotten through the first waves of his disdain and rancor or “tests” he put me through, though his manner is still incredibly cranky. I’ve discovered that his crankiness is like a rough oyster shell, tightly clenching a pearl.

    But how’s this for synchronicity (having in mind the book cover for Involution you considered at one point but ended up not using). This particular blogger places J.M.W. Turner in his pantheon of artists, and rightly so – a genius painter. After we had reconciled and began interacting again, I left a comment for a new post of his, which included the following which he ended up cutting out. He only allowed a small part of my whole comment to stand, apologizing for what he cut out, but I think that he did so is revealing. No problem, I replied to him, pull a leaf off a living tree, another leaf will grow back. But it’s related and relevant to this post of yours, Philippa, and your Defense, and now I’m glad I saved it. It speaks for itself. Not Guilty is my plea, which is as vitally important to me as it is to you. My own heart and soul depends on it!

    Here’s what he cut out:

    “We’d probably end up in a quarrel again over this one, if you obliquely consider me as being one of those who has a misguided faith in a “cult” of humanity.   To practice empathy, engaging the whole soul in such a way that one is attuned to the interconnectedness of all things, doesn’t imply, or by extension necessarily by reason end up finding itself within, a cult or clan; it could mean the very opposite.  I believe in a feeling mind and a thinking heart, and a harmonious and seamless union of these in their relation.    Reason is a faculty which is part of the whole human being; living and breathing in its use, intuition and instinct, good, healthy instincts, being also vital parts of its functioning in the service of truth.  Reason isn’t a separate part utilized like an instrument, externally detached like a microscope or a telescope, or like a chisel and a hammer. That itself is only intellect.  Those who use reason that way use it as a prosthetic, a crutch which may serve its use for a time, but beyond that weakens, not strengthens, the muscles, and believe the human being is nothing more than a machine.    Furthermore, reason without imagination, not fantasy, but real imagination, is like a ship with sails but no wind to carry it on its journey, or a bird which has had its wings cut off and writhes in the sand.   Someone like Turner did not paint by numbers and I’m sure didn’t need all his arguments lined up in neat rows, and heap contempt and scorn on all those who failed to fall in line.  He was greater than that.   His whole being was engaged in the creative process which is why his paintings are as noble and sublime as nature herself.    I think he must have been profoundly reasonable, but would have been considered crazy by those who coldly rationalize like bureaucrats, crawling around on hands and knees arranging pebbles and stones into patterns, or building houses and towers out of cards.”  

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    1. I had drafted a copious answer John, and gt interrupted and probably failed to send! Hell. Thanks for staying with it, and even if it failed to draw many readers ( what else, and what’s new?) it forced a detachment.

      I cannot understand why people take opinions so very seriously! It is not as though one is branded with them. We do have the power to hold opinions without being defined by them, but so many feel they ARE what they think.

      I now wish I had trusted my own judgement and retained both the Turner image and the original title, Full Circle from King Lear- suitable for someone in their dotage! since Involution is an ugly word but was addressed to those who don’t mind ugly words but feel ideas must be packaged in portentousness! Since they have not liked it any better tailored to fit, I should have stayed in a Caftan!

      I do remember that I commented on the difficulty of commentary on social media, unrelieved by the look in an eye or a twist of sardonic deprecation that can soften views appropriately. So most people tiptoe gingerly for fear of sparking offence! You don’t but you rally. I do not always bother to rally, when rudeness is uppermost, opinions are different. On the other hand I get a little bored at point scoring with intellectual cheese paring.

      Thanks for the not guilty verdict. Do I mean thanks? Where do I try next. Not even that favourite filmic genre- the court case- worked to draw a following, or even a jeering crowd! Time to write something new, new and shocking!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An eloquent argument, Philippa. I fear that lack of a certain intelligence is what stands in the way of the book’s acceptance, just as much as professional pomposity or craven attempts to control the discussion. Much of the scientific population thinks in binary terms and isn’t wired to grasp poetry’s intuitive domain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to see you K! You know I think my good friends would like one another. Wyeth and John D would have things in common, and you would like Joe Linker. Most here have indeed read the book and loyally stay to read and cheer, and the calibre of the comments are often essays- so perhaps I have created a very exclusive club!

      Re poetry I think it offers an easy ‘out’ Rather like John McEnroe screaming at the referee ‘You CAN NOT be SERIOUS. I suspect you are off to gallop soon since summer beckons?

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  3. I would want you as my counsel for the defense Philippa. Very cogently argued and beautifully expressed. The jury cannot fail to be moved to think outside the box – which makes me wonder why there ever was a box anyway …

    ‘I now ask reason to submit to deeper reason, psychological truth’. There is room for both thank heavens and deeper raeson is indeed psychological truth. One without the other hardly bears pondering. John Dockus also expressed it well in his saying about a ship who is set to sail but has no wind. Imagination – where would be without it. As lumpish as lard upon a dump heap.

    I’m crying from the roof tops: NOT GUILTY.

    May your summer solstice in your beautiful garden bring you joy, respite and peace.

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    1. In the nick of time Susan before the final gavel falls! Thank you for the vote of affirmation. It has been an interesting exercise. The need to argue both sides both echoes the nature of the book and forces a reminder of why it has had such difficulty getting born and continuing to exist! The inertia of the lard ( as you call it) is so resistant to the need for reconsideration, and the EFFORT required.

      It is much easier to coast along and go over a cliff without noticing. Do I stick my neck out and remind any casual visitor that THAT is built into the Theory of Involution- the gulf between insight and intellect? Those with the first ( as well as the breath of imagination) all shout yes, and the intellect replies ‘Mmm? Not sure…I’ll just wait until…’ The habit of linear aka plodding thinking.

      I hope now to see something of the roses before June plays itself out. I should photograph the full panoply but unfortunately I cant send the scent(s).

      Thanks for hanging out in the dreary courtroom instead of banging out like John Dockus. Not many came but those that did wrote the kind of comments that a crowd never does. For which I am really grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. actually
    categorically
    come hell or high water
    conclusively
    decidedly
    decisively
    definitely
    doubtless
    easily
    exactly
    for sure
    no ifs ands or buts
    no strings attached
    on the button
    on the money
    on the nose
    positively
    precisely
    really
    right on
    straight out
    sure as can be
    sure as hell
    sure enough
    sure thing
    surely
    the very thing
    truly
    unambiguously
    unconditionally
    unquestionably

    NOT GUILTY !!

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  5. Where are the bloody ‘bs’? and the v sign for unanimous? Thank you kind friend. You might even have to read it now- only teasing. What say you. A stage play to be derived? I think I could do something creative with it! Not about this book but about the loneliness of the long distance author…in general.

    Anyway if I regain confidence something to think about. Thanks for dropping by to hold up a not guilty catalogue. Touched.

    Like

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