strong>What is your latest release and what genre is it? The latest book is Involution – An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God It fits no known genre. Poetically written science is unknown.
Quick description: The book is DNA shaped; half is poetic narrative through the chronology of Western thought about the nature of Nature, half scientific footnotes to flesh out the narrative with scientific and historical detail. In the poetic journey Reason (spiraling science) and Soul (spiraling painting and music) intertwine two ways to knowledge, the intellectual and the spiritual, and show the process of ‘Involution’: the encoding of consciousness in all forms of matter, and the recovery of this encoded memory – through the inspirations of science. This offers a new way of understanding how the intellect of science became separated from spiritual understanding; from the holism of early thought, through divisions and subdivisions and now re-approaching a new Unity, as involution penetrates to the very beginning. Despite the seeming seriousness the work is light-hearted and easy to read.
I was born (1941) and grew up in South Africa, straddling both sides of the social and political divide, half Boer, half British. Life was one of extremes, either on safari in remote areas with my grandfather inspecting African schools or imprisoned in antiquated boarding schools. All experiences provided the ‘languages’ that this book would draw upon: Theology and Metaphysical poetry at school, and almost every faculty at University, from Medicine, through Architecture and Fine Art, until Classics gave way to Psychology and Zoology under the seminal palaeontologist Raymond Dart and the father of embryology, BI Balinsky.
Later, marriage to a marine biologist and photographer meant a nomadic life on deserted Mozambique islands with fiddler crabs and mangrove swamps. An association with Nobel Prize winner Konrad Lorenz at the Max Planck Institute in Bavaria introduced the dynamic field of animal behaviour. Later, I lectured on ‘Saints and Scientists’ at Bristol University which gave research for this work systematic focus.
What are you working on now?
I am re-publishing A Shadow in Yucatan – a poetic narrative evoking the sixties, its promises and disappointment, and writing a novella, as well as assembling a number of short stories illustrating the differences between the Old World and the New through the kinds of characters each incubates. (One or two can be sampled by signing as a friend to my website.)
Philippa’s reading recommendation:
The Soul’s Code by James Hillman- a wonderfully clarifying book.
The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch – a Tolstoyan novel about the 20th Century.
The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte – A gem.