The Lawyer's Dream: One of Julian's circus trucks. At the time almost 6 years ago, his trucks and caravans were kept on an old farm just on the outskirts of Dalkeith. Photograph credit: (C) Patrick Phillips 2023

The importance of new civilisations: a short extract from the polemic, The Lawyer’s Dream

10 mins read

Now I want to consider for a moment Julian’s dream to Minos’ in the possibility that they might have shared the same dream. And if they had, their dream was not to project and become the universal woman and man but ontologically the eternal woman and man. This consisted of creating a reality that had unity between responsibility and role-play. This was absolutely essential for them. Today’s responsibilities within society and the many roles, which we are denied, have not only no grounded distinction or clarity but, also, the vital decisions needed to sustain a community, are made instead by unelected therefore unofficial leaders (Capitalists, or CEOs) who are dangerously playing with the responsibility of life – nature and people’s lives. In classical mythology, Minos ‘is said to have been the first man to civilise the Cretans and to rule them justly.’ I am certainly not suggesting that Julian wanted to be a King or a Judge but I think the relationship between his role as a lawyer in society and his dream of starting his own circus may have been the beginning of a new civilisation, very similar to the Minoan – a new (socio-economic) expression of living. Therefore, Julian wanted to live in and represent a fair and equal society. Minoan civilisation lasted 1500 years, within a culture of infinite creativity. The time, in which we live, is the most uncreative period ever to have existed apart from waste. Minoan society celebrated with the animals, in the now and believed in an after-life. They built tombs for the dead and painted topographical maps on their coffins, designed ‘to provide a home for the dead.’ Importantly, they were free to create and live out their own expressions.

In a recent excavation in Gournia, Professors from Buffalo State University rediscovered a coastal fortification system which ‘rebukes the popular myth that the Minoans were a peaceful society with no need for defensive structures.’ Firstly, this is a false statement, and it is an attempt not only from disbelief but, also, to wipe out the possibility of any peace to have ever existed on the planet. Minoans built the walls to protect themselves from tidal waves that occurred during an earthquake; this gave them time to evacuate. Julian’s dream might also give clues, as to why and how Minoan expression began; their descent from Neolithic was certainly a desire to transcend from an oppressive existence of just survival. Yet, in our so-called modern world or “in this day and age,” to live has again been reduced to survival. This concerns not only the whole of society but, also, the individual. It is more difficult to survive today than during the Paleolithic period.                  

What then is modern about going backwards? This is what we must question. What is “this day and age”? Why are we still assuming our age to be of brilliance and modern in every approach? Today, our situation is like no other situation in human history. We have arrived at the modern world without the actual Modern world. We are stuck in a bewildering transition (partly due to the acceleration of the Enlightenment’s ideology of pure tolerance through the ‘invisible hand’ of economic inequality still intolerant simultaneously) in which the modern world appears to have happened, made itself out of nothing and came from a so-called meaningful ‘somewhere.’

Today’s catastrophic consequences of such acceleration from the Western world, have revealed not only how unprepared we were but still are for modern society. With the past being made obsolete through Progress and every generation nostalgically holding onto the past before the next change, it has become the reason for the shocking surge in Conservatism. This is because ‘The Great Acceleration’, which we have all now witnessed and experienced, has meant consequentially that every multinational has invaded almost every aspect of our lives. Everyone wants to live not so much in the past but in a period when Capitalists (or CEOs) were less extreme and evasive. Today, there is no harmony between our past and present. We have arrived too early (due to technological advancement), unpredictably, to fully comprehend this contradictory reality of this “day and age.” Our present modern world contains none of the human ethical elements which it is supposed to have. Instead it is the serious battle between the sacred and secular; this is because essentially the modern world was and still is meant to be spiritual in essence in every aspect of human life. I think this is our fight, the situation in which we are facing daily.

Now we could argue that the circus, or to be precise from Julian’s perspective, can bring us closer to the sensation (therefore feeling) of an absolute equal society. However, what would be the purpose of a lawyer in an equal society? How would it work? Can it work? Firstly, a lawyer would know where to begin, without the corruption of laws protecting laws. Secondly, absurdity and disillusionment would be eradicated because the lawyer would no longer be forced to represent laws in an unequal society. Whether or not there were lawyers in Minoan society is unimportant. Why would there need to be when they had a King-Priest that judged fairly. There was no need for representation. Julian would have appreciated living in such a society and if he had, he himself might have become Minos. Circus enabled Julian to set the example, demonstrate and pave the way for those that in our present had never experienced solidarity in sensation. But also, for those in the future, lossed experiences becoming rejuvenated. Words with urgent action. What was further unique about Julian’s dream was not only his privileged situation to pursue, but also his subjective experience of a combination of dreams. How many lawyers do we know that have started their own circus in the last century? Or how many lawyers have dreamt to do so?

Although I have mentioned that the unity between profession and dream has become a modern necessity, this does not mean that every dream has become fulfilled. The dreams of those with a modern profession remain invisible and their chances rarely heard or seen today. If I was to consider the proletariat, their dreams have been muted, disregarded, or treated as unessential.


In the morning a poet, a painter, a lawyer and a writer begin their day with a dream. Setting out on a walk, they look, think, feel, speak, paint and write. In search of discovering what their dream might be. But at what point did they begin to see their dreams collapse? The Lawyer’s Dream is about a lawyer who started his own circus more than 40 years ago (1981). After his death, more than 5 years ago, Patrick (the author) sets out to try and understand why? And to question what became the impulse to begin such a dream. What important significance can the lawyer’s dream help us to understand the crisis we are living in today? He looks at History in order to find the answers from the Minoan Civilisation through to the Enlightenment. Included within this non-fiction are two historical figures John Clare and Alphonse Monticelli, which accompany the writer on his journey to find answers.

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Expressive Press (5 May 2021)

Language ‏ : ‎ English Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1838424717

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1838424718

Featured Image Credit: Patrick Phillips

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Retired writer.

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