Hostile Author Refuses to Defend Own book!-Trial of ‘Odyssey’ Continues.

Konrad Lorenz and his support of evolutionary progress- argued through the encoded complexity of consciousness in the original Theory of Involution.

Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one.”   Konrad Lorenz

April Fool!!!Hostile Author Refuses to Defend Own book!  ( Court Reporter at the Assizes)

All Rise  

Court in Session
Court in Session

Involution Trial. Defence Summons the Author. ( continues from previous session)

Counsel for the Defence.

DEF I now call the Author. I would like to advise the Court that this Author appears as a hostile witness.

JUDGE You surprise me! Can you clarify why?

DEF I think the witness should answer M’lud.

AUTHOR I would be ‘hostile’ appearing for either the Prosecution or the Defence. Although it is the scientific spine which seems here to command the focus, I feel that the book on trial, Involution-An Odyssey escaped the emphasis on intellectual debate to offer another option—education for the heart. This was, I believe an improvement which this revived talk of the Theory obscures.I realise only hard core science commands respect, but since it has been responsible for a fundamental misunderstanding I have no wish to prolong its claims to respect. Since I have been oppressed by this book for a lifetime, and might wish to be liberated from further oppression I do not want to influence, either way. If found guilty I can lay down the pen and live a few years: If innocent, my longer life has had some meaning…

JUDGE ( to Defence) Why is this witness necessary?

DEF  Because two Defence witnesses have failed to appear to defend the book. Professor Konrad Lorenz has not answered our calls but may, of course, now be someone else. Cambridge University Press has declined to appear. This witness is called to illuminate the evidence on which they were due to be cross examined…

JUDGE Proceed.

Lorenz and Tinbergen1.jpg
Lorenz and Tinbergen1” by Max Planck Gesellschaft – Max Planck Gesellschaft/Archiv
First upload: 15:41, 16. Nov. 2007 by User:Gerbil. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Nobel Prize Winner gone AWOL!!!  ( Evidence in Camera? Something shady here?)

DEF  I have a letter written by Konrad Lorenz. I quote ‘I thank you very much for sending your Theory of Involution…it interests me enormously…I certainly do share your views…and believe, like you that so called evolutionary progress is explicable in scientific terms…’  From a Nobel Prize winner quite handsome praise. What were the ‘scientific terms’ that had him so excited?

AUTHOR  I think a scientific explanation of what, with hindsight, looked like progress, suggested a process ( which Involution traced) that was intrinsic within creation and not imposed. This removed any suggestions of either God, or Intelligence, other than that WITHIN the organism and species. Lorenz was an expert on animal behaviour, who had seen the great variety of instinctive behaviours modified by learning, so this would be familiar.

DEF If already obvious through his own work why was he ‘enormously interested’?

AUTHOR   Just as with other witnesses: What they themselves already know or have thought about governs how they respond. We all like to be affirmed. Lorenz had studied a range of behaviours; instinctive, learned and wholly interiorised, such as bird migration. He already knew that what I called Involution was a given throughout the biosphere. What I suspect excited him was the application of his field (behaviour, instinctive, learnt or spontaneous) as THE mechanism by which complex structures evolved through the encoding of experience as memory. It is another example of convergence and synchronicity… His ideas and mine in synchrony, evolving in parallel, but also the synchrony lower down the evolutionary ladder of each to the whole.

Behaviour as a measure of the increasingly complex and encoded memory.
Behaviour as a measure of the increasingly complex and encoded memory.

DEF  Had you formulated your Involution from reading his books?

AUTHOR  I was not reading any science when we were at the Max Planck. I was the mother of two very small children and more into nappies and a juicer… It was two years after we left that I wrote Involution, and felt he might be sympathetic to it.

DEF You wrote it in 1970 and his letter is dated the same year, so he responded immediately?

AUTHOR Pretty quickly. I think he was genuinely excited. I was not aware at the time that he was writing a work moving in much the same direction. His book, ‘Behind the Mirror’ outlines a hypothesis that proposed gradations of flexibility in patterns of behaviour (from the explosive spontaneous new combinations of  previously unconnected patterns, becoming more rigidly encoded; Imprinting, Habituation and Exploratory), each more flexible and open to change than the last. It was a hypothesis also suggesting the growth of consciousness from the beginning. What was already internal was modified by the external encounters. In that sense Involution seemed simply to confirm what he was himself already apprehending. Hence his easy acceptance and his enthusiasm.

DEF Did you have further contact with him? What happened next?

AUTHOR In 1973 he won the Nobel Prize and that usually takes up time and re-organises priorities.

DEF No further questions.

Counsel for the prosecution  

(Housewife offers Explanations. Prosecution goes for the jugular! – Court Reporter)

PROS. How did you first encounter Professor Lorenz if you were confined with children?

AUTHOR Through the children. He conscripted my older daughter who was three.

PROS Sounds unlikely. What for ? The Home Guard?

AUTHOR No, for his geese.

PROS Ah a goose girl! How very quaint.

AUTHOR Well quaint to start with, when they were goslings, and a clutch of  endearing small birds followed her everywhere. It became less so when they were older, with the power to knock her over. All the children were conscripted; eggs were hatching continually and there is a narrow window for imprinting hatchlings, which was what Lorenz was studying. Whatever goslings first encounter moving is their ‘mother’ forever. He was studying this very adaptive insurance that even an abandoned clutch of eggs might adopt whatever would have to do instead, even if it wasn’t Mother Goose. Rather like me spotting Lorenz moving through the undergrowth, and following.

Goose girl Nikos Puroswami  Creative Commons
Goose girl Nikos Puroswami Creative Commons

PROS Ah I see. You daughter was part of his experimentation on geese!

AUTHOR Yes.

PROS And later you sent him your Theory of Involution?

AUTHOR Yes.

PROS  I put it to you that his so called enthusiasm was, in fact, gratitude for services rendered. He felt under an obligation.

AUTHOR If he did, which I seriously doubt, it was to my very small daughter, who did not write it. All the children at Seewiesen were followed by clutches of geese or ducklings. It was considered a privilege, and certainly no grounds for gratitude.

PROS So he would have remembered you?

AUTHOR I doubt it. There were many esteemed visitors to the Max Planck, like Niko Tinbergen pictured with Lorenz and I encountered him very briefly in passing in the grounds. Probably two or three times.

PROS Why did you send him the Theory? It was quite an imposition for a renowned busy scientist surely?

AUTHOR Call it naivete. In those days I was innocent and assumed that a new way of understanding  might (if he approved it) have a better chance of dissemination, or publication with the support of influential people… I believed that again, recently, with the ‘Odyssey’. I now know that academics will be the last to help or support it. Most speedily ask for a free copy and leave it at that.

PROS Going back to Lorenz: That suggests you doubted it yourself if you sought his imprimatur?

(Author loses patience- Admits to seeking Support- Court Reporter)

AUTHOR You are still locked in the assumption that I was laying claim to anything. Why do egotists assume everyone guilty? If there was any hope that the Theory was of value to the world heading for hell in a handcart I needed the help of those with influence. I was happy simply to generate new thought and give it over for others to make use of. I had used a scientific language that lay to hand, that of animal behaviour, since that was, for me, a familiar field. I could have used any other (like the history of painting), to create the scaffolding from which to paint the cathedral of consciousness… Lorenz was doing much the same.

PROS Yes yes, a lot of fancy images to obscure the fact you were not a scientist…

AUTHOR I never claimed to be one. Who would? I admit to a kind of prophetic overview. All I was suggesting was that science should look again at the artesian well that filled the river; (recovered memory), replenishing science whenever it ran dry.…

PROS No further questions

Counsel for the Defence.

(University Press Refuses the Invitation to appear- CR)

DEF   Can we now turn to the conduct of Cambridge University Press following their first sight of the monograph. They asked you for an expanded book?

AUTHOR  Yes. They asked for two full chapters and a summary of the whole.

DEF  And they were interested in publishing? What happened?

AUTHOR  It was difficult providing the first two chapters while living in a coal cellar, but I borrowed a typewriter and used the Bristol Public Library to write what had been requested.

DEF  So we have a book supported by two eminent men in the field, which Cambridge University Press considered for publication by an unknown housewife changing nappies. I’d say that is conclusive evidence of its merits, and would draw the Jury’s attention to giving it due weight. No further questions.

Prosecution Counsel

PROS  But Cambridge did not publish did they? Why not?

AUTHOR What they actually said was that the work was highly speculative and complex…the reader has the impression of being bombarded with the sum total of all the knowledge of physics, biology and philosophy all at one time…the potential market for all that is extremely small… pretty well Ted Bastin’s accusation of including ‘the kitchen sink’

PROS  No bleedin good, in short.

 AUTHOR No I think it was more ‘in long’ If you have to turn the whole of science on its head, you do need the whole of science to do it. That’s what I attempted. Only the whole is the whole. A part would not convey the integration of mind and matter, or the distinction between consciousness and intellect, nor the chronology through all of time. It is the chronology of the scientific disciplines that is the likeliest evidence of the Theory of Involution.

PROS Alright if we must! Can you try to be brief and explain?

(Author Surrenders to Pressure and Explains the Theory of Involution and why the Chronological History of Science Provides Evidence!!- ?Probably Balls)

AUTHOR All the different sciences have emerged in answer to the penetration of memory, from the unity of early civilizations (before the separation between mind and matter began) in which they saw time, astrological patterns, celestial cycles, seasons, crops as deities ( ie God(s) were all there was) through the gradual separation into compartments of specialised knowledge. The chronology of the emerging scientific disciplines provides the evidence for the incremental penetration of memory. And a strong evidence for Involution as a hypothesis.

As we collectively re-penetrate the universal Akashic record, back through time, which each of us has access to, (but the Eureka moments of genius unlock) science moved simultaneously towards the larger and larger, and the smaller and smaller, because the more we understood of one the more we understood of the other, as Heraclitus first pointed out. First early cultures held the macro understandings of holistic concepts; astronomy, time, planetary and galactic motion,  but also the qualities of mind observing; Pythagoras and the Egyptians with the mathematics, and sacred geometry that underpinned it..

Then Aristotle’s distinctions between the ‘hermetic citadel’ heavens and the earth began the separation of the macro from the micro. His study of the earth and its flora and fauna concentrated on the immediate and local. From then on Science went on slicing the local smaller and smaller, into Biology, down into Chemistry, Classical Physics, Anatomy and Physiology.  Following on the other ends of scale Faraday, Maxwell, Bohr and Einstein began going deeper towards the beginning with the re-unifications of new field theories of the macrocosmic, but equally into atomic and quantum theory and the first elementary particles This was the convergence towards the beginning of memory, when both macro and micro were both integrated as a single field of energy.

Now science is running out of enough matter and we have hypothetical multi universes and string theories to explain what the orthodox division between inner and outer has created, the fallacy of a separation between mind and matter. Equally that fallacy is now turning to the most recent sciences, neuro physiology and artificial intelligence… and psychology to explain how our understanding of everything else works, but not the falsehood we have collectively created…or even the nature of perception…Consciousness is now emerging as the latest study, but the entrenched materialism of the collective idea still  only sees consciousness as the emission of brain, not the other way round, brain as the creation and receiver of consciousness…

Science as the mirror of memory. Disciplines emerged as penetration required.
Science as the mirror of memory. Disciplines emerged as penetration required.

PROS  It is just a pattern, a neat mirror isn’t it? How would you prove that it explains anything?

AUTHOR  A good image. Mirrors are fundamental. They show things back to front, left to right. But here is another pattern. Since Socrates’ injunction to ‘Know Thyself’ the mystical geniuses have sought God within. Individually. Individually they have achieved the ‘coniunctio mysterium’ ( the mystical union) and the dissolution of any boundaries in light. Science poo-poohs such accounts as deluded ( and precluded!).

Involution suggests that evolution itself has been that same search, but collectively. Collectively we have moved through ourselves, (memory and the seeming past) to face that same dissolution. What the individual discovers, the collective resists but ultimately has to follow. Matter is now disappearing into dark matter and invisible universes are being imagined or contrived to replace it- because we cannot face the possibility that we have been mistaken all along. We have separated mind from matter, past from future, intellect from consciousness.

PROS  Any evidence of light at the end of this tunnel? That’s what we should expect if you are right, isn’t it?

AUTHOR  I’d say ‘polarized light’ perhaps. The twentieth and present century has offered giants of darkness, Hitler, PolPot, Mau,Stalin et al, and currently there are hundreds of Islamists all infected with the dark. But there is also now an accelerated growth towards spirituality, and searching. The Akashic field has to accept both. Polarity has been fundamental to creation, the fight now is to preserve polarity against the pull of Unity and dissolution.

PROS Now we wait with bated breath for you to tell us what Einstein missed!

AUTHOR No: I suggest you read the book, and think it through yourself.

PROS I have no intention of doing any such thing! I am briefed to prosecute, not to think for myself. It would prejudice the case!

AUTHOR  It might. Or it might not. As we have already seen, pre-existing knowledge and vested interests determine everything. The distinction between scientific intellect and consciousness is a war between the collective orthodoxy of what we think we already know, and the individual who perceives it anew. . That’s a large part of the Theory too.

PROS Oh I give up! Enough woman.No further questions.

JUDGE  That concludes the evidence on the First Charge. I remind you of the charge against the Book ‘Involution-An Odyssey…’ That you have persuaded the Author to write a deluded hypothesis in order to humiliate her, knowing she would bear the responsibility of your heedless suggestions.

The Jury will now withdraw to consider their verdict. For the purposes of this Court a majority verdict will suffice….

Barking dogs occasionally bite, but laughing men hardly ever shoot. (Lorenz)

Court in Session
Court in Session

All Rise

Getting Up Close and Personal

The Book that Wrote the Life:  My amiable thug of a book to whom I unwisely said
‘I do’

 OK. Enough already. It is time to dig deeper and get up close and personal.

Why would anyone write a new ‘Divine Comedy’? Start again. Why would an unrecognised poet and a non scientist write a poetic history of science? Well I have said it was the book that wrote the life, and choosing was never done by me.

Levels of Hell- Botticelli
Levels of Hell- Botticelli



I am now going to ‘come out’ and tell you what this seeming whimsy really means. Involution has caused me to ponder very deeply on how ordinary life gives evidence of it at every level. I would have no conviction if every life did not reflect it. I wrote the usual autobiography, only mine started with emerging onto the Serengeti plains and came pushing on through civilisation(s). I spent time in Greece and I absolutely loved Florence in the Renaissance, after which things rather went down hill, until I found myself beached in modern life and wondering where we might gone instead. Hence the book to find out.

Oxford-001

‘Write what you know…’ that hoary adage implies that every writer collects a carpet bag of scraps, the better to fashion characters, places, and realistic situations. Then there is the other school of authorship, the so-called imaginatively fictional—what nobody thinks anybody knows, the fantasy, the Gothic steam punk, the sci-fi, the magic realism and mythological which are considered testament to what you cannot know but have the skill and versatility to make real and believable.  They claim to be the ones who make Blue Peter toy towns out of fairy liquid bottles, metaphorically speaking.

I put it to you ladies and gentlemen; these are both drawn from a single continuum. The first writes what we know you know (yes familiar, know exactly where she stands…that part of London so well…so convincing) and the second what you once knew but have forgotten (often more convincing, probing deeper, but less definable). The layers of the subconscious furnish dreams and also fantasies, they are timeless, otherworld- penetrating, overwhelming, sometimes interlaced with surrealist extravaganzas, sometimes openly mocking, or indeed puerile.  I believe that this web of connection that links each of us to one another, to those we have known in past lives; or met in dreams, finds the mouthpiece author to articulate and give them all new life  through the books that enshrine them. Writing is the urge to articulate the preciousness of individuality, and make meaning of our lives (and fold in paprika or saffron dreams).

Our first book is almost always autobiographical in a narrow sense, and probably should be discarded. It sharpens the author’s familiarity with themselves, the better to apply a more detached and thoughtful eye to the components of other lives instead.

The more I read of the books people write and their relation to that author’s life and interests, the more it seems to me that books find authors by shaping their lives. Not so much ‘write what you know’ but ‘live the book first’. Authors stricken by tragedy make sense of it by writing ‘my story’,( or starting a charity) successful entrepreneurs sell success, philosophers weave philosophy into the loom of fiction, the injured write revenge, the ingenious a perfect crime, the enlightened write obliquely since they have nothing to sell but belief. Or they channel inspiration like St John of the Cross, Kahlil Gibran or Rumi, and become immortal in the literary sense. Shakespeare had to be Prospero first to whip up a Tempest.

Christopher Plummer as Prospero in The Tempest. Photography by David Hou.

Living forever, the immortality that writing implies and seeks, is, I think, what lies at the root of its compulsion. The writing calls for a reader to make a deeper sense of the solitude that an author’s experience wraps around his lonely shoulders.

I now understand that every aspect of my life has been relevant to conceiving and then writing Involution-An Odyssey. Every scrap in the carpet bag was used, but I suspect past lives I do not consciously remember set the tempos to spend more time with Galileo and the Renaissance painters in Florence, with Kepler in Tubingen and certainly the scholastics in Oxford and with the Invisible College back in Oxford halls of open and vigorous dispute. They were all places in which I felt immediate familiarity. Just as though I had come home.

Old Library-only daylight
Merton Old Library-only daylight

My first ever day in Oxford (commandeered as a taxi for an elderly friend to visit her sister) gave me nine hours to kill. Without a guidebook I found the Raphael drawings in the basement of the Ashmolean, the Light of the World at Keble, the old library of Merton, and it was just like the visiting of old friends. My feet knew the way and those that awaited my re-acquaintance. It was much the same with Florence, where Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s House was open for airing, and Fratelli Alinari was having a sale, and Donatello’s David bowed his beautiful head; I was pulled by an invisible guide. All were being heaped up for this book. I sat down in New College Chapel for a rest and looked up at El Greco…

2.-El-Greco

…lengthened by attenuated grief
From the harsh world now mired in the real

Even a junk shop near the Duomo provided the palimpsest that backs the cover and the website, a single page of parchment torn from a mediaeval leather bound and gilded tome.  ‘Cinquecento lira, Madame …prego…’

IT was for this reason that I could not write just a scientific theory, because Involution has been a lived truth, not a theoretical one. The synchronies that penetrate ordinary life on a daily basis, the friends you know you had to encounter, (because you were waiting for one another), the improbabilities that seem so self evidently inevitable once they have occurred; all point to the evidence of Involution. The future is causative, it draws, because past memory demands restorations, enmity needs reconciliation, joy seeks a new encounter and thought creates the circumstances for each. We know we know.  The moment NOW is the space-time moment in which such synchronies occur. The clocks all stop. The  genius who reported that searched for the cosmological constant, and thought it had been a blunder. Simply because no-one else corroborated, and expansion of the universe prevailed. Now they are not so sure. The red shift that gave us expansion may be due to atoms gaining weight and not speeding away. The prevalent governs vision, which is another reason for Involution written for non scientists…giving it a breath of hope.

I think Einstein was struck by a mystical Damascus. Consciousness, simply the universal field of connection? If so where does fiction begin and end?

_44255708_final_washing

Writers weave that field, and live the lives encoded in their memory and contribute their unique colours to the cloth. Experience is their vat, their river’s washing stone, their linen, hung out in words taken by the wind.