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Involution: An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God by [Rees, Philippa]
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Involution: An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God Kindle Edition

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Length: 451 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Philippa Rees wrote a book that is a rarity: it is on a controversial, actually hair- and eye-brow-raising subject, and it is totally sincere.  And totally insightful. If you the reader are as brave as this author, you are in for a fantastic ride.  Getting close to science as well as to God at the same time.  That's no mean feat. Enjoy the ride - and the light! (Dr. Ervin Laszlo)

Product Details

  • File Size: 5324 KB
  • Print Length: 451 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: CollaborArt Books; I edition (June 13, 2013)
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DEKR01A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,668,184 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not entirely sure how to do a review that will do justice to Involution. For a start, Ms Rees' erudition across the breadth of science, religion, spirituality, philosophy and art make this semi-Socratic discourse a tour de force and far beyond my learning to fully appreciate and comprehend.

And yet, somehow, appreciate and comprehend it I do. It's sublime poetic style ,it's artistry, is like a long, lover's song. I am stunned to read stanzas such as:

`Yet the river in silence pulls on and on
New turbulent streams drowning the past.
Knowing the fathomless sea awaits
Where all water is water and all is One'

Fathomless sea indeed! This is a powerful dialogue on the nature of consciousness running not just parallel with, but indeed being the unseen composer beneath, scientific and philosophic thought. And this masterpiece links us, through art and spirituality, to the very seat of the soul.

To say it is one of the most intelligent pieces of work I have ever read is a massive understatement. Similarly to speak of its sheer beauty seems destined to be also lacking.

I love the gnostic overtones of the 9th Canto, where it all comes together in such poetic wisdom. It is entirely possible I have fundamentally misunderstood Ms Rees' thesis, so rich is her tapestry and so small my potential capacity to comprehend it. If so I apologise to her - but yet, even if so, it speaks profoundly to me.

In the end it is a journey of the soul - consciousness rather than mere concept, being rather than just description. The ultimate path of the mystic, as she says:

`What the intellect can understand
Becomes unworthy of the heart'.

A beautiful book, demanding quiet contemplation and attention and worthy of many repeat visits to weave within the magic of the poetry and the fascination of the history connected in her comprehensive appendix to the work.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The problem with writing “Involution” is that there is absolutely no way to surpass it. To rise above it. It sets such a literary standard that it managed to create a genre of its own, placing itself at the apex, and daring anyone to reach up to its illustrious heights. We, mortals, aspire to serve our muse. Philippa Rees sits upon a throne to which even muses pay homage. Indeed, they do not inspire Philippa, she, from her Olympian heights, inspires them.

Whether you agree with the concept of Involution or not is academic. You can choose to grow within the limitations of the phenomenal reality, or within the infinite realm of your consciousness. Your time will come, after all we're all immortal. Yet thanks to Philippa, along our individual journeys,in moments of stress, we can now...

“Drift south in a felucca piled
For commerce on the slipping Nile;
See Gizeh with its sightless flanks,
Pyramids pale, austere, remote...”

...only to return, later, to where mortal men tread in mundane reality; yet refreshed, restored to face once again, the arduous climb to the realm of gods. You really must find out for yourself.

Thank you, Philippa.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Marianne Rankin (Director of Communications of the Alister Hardy Trust & Society for the Study of Spiritual Experience)

As soon as I heard about this book, I wanted to review it. Involution, An Odyssey Reconciling Science to God sounded completely different from anything I had ever read before – a challenge. On opening the book, I found a much-loved quotation by Teilhard de Chardin “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

The prose Introduction offers the opportunity to explore the concept of involution before embarking on the main text of the Cantos in verse. I skipped ahead and read the Appendix first, as well as about the author’s extraordinary life and the experiences which triggered the book.

Involution proposes that humans carry within them the history of the universe, which is (re)discovered by the individual genius when the time is ripe. All is stored within our DNA and awaits revelation. Such piecemeal revelations set our finite lives in an eternal chain of co-creation and these new leaps of discovery are compared to mystical experience.

In nine Cantos of dialogue between Reason and Soul, Philippa Rees takes the reader on a monumental journey through the history of everything – with the evolution of man as one side of the coin and involution the other. The Cantos are complex and the extremely learned and extensive footnotes offering background knowledge are necessary and fascinating. In effect there are two books, offering a right and left brain approach.

As I wanted to understand the thinking as well as to feel the beauty of the verse, I was at times torn between the notes and the Cantos.
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Format: Paperback
As the book is subtitled, this is "an odyssey reconciling science to God". That is Rees's ambitious aim at least.

I'm not so sure that she succeeds unless we, physical living mankind, are understood to be part of a flow of consciousness that is actually God. That is a difficult place for me to go. I need the division of the soul of man from the divine. However, to the main theme, that on a spiritual level we may already know all that science is steadily revealing to us, that we are all at core a part of a consciousness that is this Universe; I fully concur.

I am not a person that finds it easy to connect with poetry, so was never going to find inspiration in the epic poetic story telling that amounts to our total history. I get the concept, and applaud it, but I've such a chaotic, dyslexic and ambidextrously muddled mind that I need the directness of prose. The splitting of the book into separate themes, half to connect with the artistic right hemisphere and half with the linguistic and mathematical left, wasn't helpful. My "scientific" thought already contains plenty of mystical spaghetti. I am certain that Rees's own flexible intellect is not just a few fathoms deeper than mine, but that most readers will have less of a problem with her holistic approach. I would far rather have had a straight prose history of thought with the wonderful endnotes she provides. Some will live in the poetry and forsake the naked theory and most others will engulf both spheres. Such diversity gives sound reason to Rees's duality, for really this work has serious things to say to everyone.

The key to my admiration for this work is the inspired belief that consciousness creates structure; creates the physical Universe we inhabit.
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