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There are people who specialise in orchids. How wonderful that must be! Recently, at our local Shopping Centre, and some years ago at another, there have been displays.

Our own included several imported beds, or locales, where an astonishing variety of plants were shown. There were champions for this and that, some looking quite demure, possibly chosen for their perfume and rarity, their exquisite delicacy of form, tenderness of appearance, compactness; but there were others so large that the tissue of the petals seemed gigantesque, as if an elephant happened to stray into a Shetland pony display.

There those who smallish abundance,
dangling like tassels from the Oaks in Spring;

there were those of intricate design*1,
like the playing of Yehudi Menuhin, on the violin,
full of contrivance and gusto, virtuosity and brilliance,

others were large and lovely, disporting beauty like a Spring day,
while others again, secreted the scents of the centuries,
not diminished by their outlay in time,
or their passage through history.

Their colour schemes resembled the choicest and most distinguished fashion displays,
if not from the 'old days' when design and purpose were paramount,
then of that variety where subtle blends of colour, size and shape,
relating to form and purpose, presented an ensemble so harmonious
that it resembled a botanical symphony...

Indeed, the work to create such things would be prodigious,
and, in any case, because of miniaturisation and method,
is far beyond the best of man,
EVEN WHEN he is given the exemplar to study for its methods,
like the US aircraft captured by the Chinese, and investigated,
as if it was their right and duty to steal what was not theirs,
or to repay for what they had not proved to be an error.

Still the ebullience continued,
the sheer glamour, always tasteful,
disporting itself at times with a rugged disregard of 'impossibility',
so that the very imagination was challenged,
the heart warmed and
the intelligence fascinated.



Let us look in verbal clusters, at these floral clusters.

As in architecture made FOR man and BY man:
there is function, and there is sublimity;
there is ultility and there is that which far transcends the common needs of life;
there is conceptual beauty and beauty of form,
as well as the back stair case in case of fire.

It is not either and or; it is both and... This is what is found, far surpassing the scrutiny of the lesser, in its fulness and synthetic glories; indeed, challenging even to the thought of man as he surveys, like a potential buyer looking at a house newly built, the full impact of all the parts, the spirit of it and the beauty to be found, beyond all simpler function, in its heraldic conceptions. Its glory is in its supernal inventions, its peace with simple needs expressed voluntarily in grand designs, incredible scope and artful brilliance, meeting man's mentality with the Lord of it, in His own devices, making for His own purposes. It is the LIFE which He makes, as in man, who makes a house not only to LIVE rather than die, but to LIVE RIGHTLY or NOBLY or INTERESTINGLY or in the best way to satisfy the essential nature of life. It is not continuance; for that merely is more of it: it is its quality and its composure which matters, and it is this which is the criterion, whether in man or in the other products of the invisible, which likewise rules man for good or evil, as he rebels or realises the truth, in love or in hate.

Products of the Creator can mimic the evil of man, and so rebuke it; or startle the nobility he loves, and usually wishes to enjoy, until seedy and sick with spiritually debilitating sin; they can be a curse, like weeds, or plagues (cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 7, News 74*2 ); but the overall wonder is delight, provided you are willing to follow - the instruction book. It is IN HIM (I Peter 1:8) and if you have to suffer (I Peter 4:14ff.), for Him, then He is not mute but in His own beauties, He enables what He ennobles, and gives life as it is to those who follow Him (I John 5:12, Ephesians 3:20).

But orchids ? As one watched them, studying their mode and marvels, even their flowering seemed to have a message. They are not so easy that anyone may be sure at any time; nor yet so hard that no one has a reasonable chance, even if an expert. Like other beauties in human form, they can be shy and reserved, but accessible to social graces, when they feel confident!

But what more do they display ?

Beyond mere colour, like a sunset, they have character in colour,
Beyond mere form, architecture, they have a mini-majesty of construction,

Beyond intelligence only, they speak to the heart of things deft, delicate and dappled.

Beyond function, they have a nobility of indifference to their own vulnerability,
a species of botanical courage, or if you prefer the physical,
a combination of utter openness to thrusts of environment in many ways,
with continuance as if all that mattered were their day, or month,
in the open.

To disclose is their manifest function,
What they disclose is beauty and intelligence, with design and delight,
the payload.

Design ? But of course (cf. SMR pp. 112-128, 141, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9).  We have often dealt with this topic, but when you define it, it is comparatively simple. What has a combination of specifications (as in the DNA to build), susceptible to symbolic notation (as in words, plans, DNA), with attributes to match, which work in integrity, in order, in sequence (as in the setting forth of this and that feature, in its nascency and its maturity, all in the right time), and in the result, convey one major thrust, perceptible in kind, and useful in function, with a concentration which amounts to dedication on the means thereto, with a removal or minimisation of contrary matters, in one place, and in one presentation, you have what is called design.

This is that.

That is all.

But WHAT design!

They show a facility not shared by the Empire State Building (cf. SMR pp. 81ff.), or the Sydney Harbour bridge, child's play in technical comparison. It is this. They REPRODUCE themselves. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, that masterpiece of design and performance, was long in the coming, many slaved over it while others perhaps salivated at this ingenious construction, which was coming, coming, as closer and closer came the spans, to meet in harmony later.

It does not however remake itself, so that repair is unnecessary. Orchids do. Their design specifications would fill BOOKS. Their agenda for construction and reconstruction is enormous, symbolically composed, and as Wilder Smith points out of such things, not merely is their association of parts, but their nature is to have superimposed, on the chemical collocations, and congregations of assigned parts and processes, " a sequenced code in living genes and proteins, not merely that of a specific chemical isomer." Indeed, he continues, "a whole molecule in synthesis of the type we are discussing  is a code conveying information." It is not only COMPOSITION, nor is it only STEREOSPECIFICTY, when spatial arrangement of the contents is taken further into account, another variable: rather "there is the matter of code specificity superimposed on the matter of a macromolecular stereospecificity" (p. 82, in the work of this multiply famed and invested chemical specialist, The Creation of LIfe).

You need that to do that. You get it. We have not yet caught up, despite the assigned exhibit, as in orchids for example; we still cannot do it. We fiddle with what is done, and call it great. We seek to make minor adjustments when things go wrong over thousands of years of inspiringly precise and carefully (automatically) edited reproductive lines, and call it a blessing. They, however, these greatest of ALL designs (in the case of man) visible on earth, from ANY source, in ANY manner, are ... there.

Should one of the least of the amoebas be found in space, without possible ejection from earth, what certainties would attach to its code (supposing it were unknown on earth, something sufficiently different). It was an intelligence wrought contrivance. But come! Reduce it to some mere fragment of ten lines of intelligible discourse, symbolic notation of a specifiable type with an observable product through available means within it, and intelligence! What a marvel! Little messages are sought at the cost of billions, overall, in Mars exploration; but give them 10 lines! Would not the world change, for then, it might be said, for the FIRST time, organic evolution would have possible, relevant and logically applicable evidence. They do not find it ? Sad. They seek. They must have it, they want to be convinced.

Yet here on this earth, which is part of the SAME SPACE, is it not, after all! What here ? ONE THOUSAND VOLUMES of integrated CODE, superimposed on chemical events of the most technically sophisticated type, with methods of engineering staggering to the thought of man, even when he sees them, producing with ease the marvels which drawf man's greatest labours, both in result and in method, and what ? Is not space then producing this sign of intelligence, which it would if we found a millionth part of this on Mars ? or on some asteroid ? Is not the evidence totally overwhelming, when it even has the methods of self-conservation, to the point of symbolic editing, to conserve the code and ensure the reproduction which we cannot even come near, sophisticated though we may think ourselves to be!

The orchid is design at its heights; the code is another phase of design. The reproduction which HAPPENS as well as being framed, and code for, is another. Design involves symbolic logic, engineering facility to fashion means to execute the warrants of the logic, order capacity, so that code can contrive to stimulate those executive means, in just the right way (which many a Chairman might love to be able to do, personally, in his firm! for it is quite an art), consequential considerations of the product itself, and all this in ONE SYNTHESIS, expelling invasion, excluding competition, performing for thousands of years, thanks to editing and order in itself and the systems to which it relates, for materials, and their fashioning into the product, which must then live.

Capacities to react and relate to environment are there, and yet to conserve KIND. This is precisely what the Bible STATED in Genesis 1, and it is mirrored by what we find, things constantly refusing with a sort of primness of a maiden lady in the presence of a drunk, to go beyond certain parameters, while latent genes may awake to action under stimulus, or direct as materials allow. Such as we have repeatedly seen is the actual position, devoid of 'hope' and propaganda, simply looking at the facts (cf. That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 1 - and see Dr Duane Gish's latest addition to his fossil family book, "Evolution: the Fossils Still say No!").

There can be variations on Bach, wrought by human intelligence, and some are parodies, some vitalisations with different fire, some modish. There is a KIND in what Bach has wrought in some of his great themes, which cannot without loss of the essentials be relinquished. Additions, such as he nearly made in one of his finales, considering over time, MANY possibilities. It is true that one or two of these might not materially have affected the proposition which the music in question, clearly enshrines. Minor variation is not disturbing, but it must be thematically consistent, melodically fitting, developmentally co-ordinate, harmoniously equivalent and true to any sense of movements and crescendo.

Such is kind, when intelligence with perception, cognition with comprehension, finesse with artistry, comes into the picture; such is needed for the considerations in view, and such is what is found in the KINDS, in the orchids in particular.

The jocular, as in music, is not excluded, and occasionally in the floral realm there is that fluff of fantasy, that arrangement in mockery or in whimsicality, also. The exuberance of spirit which we all can know, is also seen, not least in orchids, and that unwillingness to let any mere barrier dominate, which leads to such subtlety of invention. It is all there.

Whether it is in architecture, in music, in literature or in mathematics, in engineering or in microscopic sub-structure, it is all there, JUST what we do, only better. It is of the order of KIND in terms of what we do; it is superior in mentality, symbolic disposition, continuity and preservation, those sub-creations which comprise new generations, to what we create. But its mode is our own. It is the exact felicity that we can JUST follow in part, which we see, the kinship of capacity, from the more capacious, the mystery of the mastery which made us, original in disposition, uninhibited in designs, multiple in message, that we discover in our environment. The invisible dominates our thought, for we do not measure love, any more than we measure the exact SIGNIFICANCE of the digital reproduction of opera notes. We find only the  means of SENDING THEM ON, nothing in the least to do with the thought processes and inspiration which led to them, the discernment, the awareness of what in sound, conveyed message. All this we have looked at before, in measure (as in SMR pp. 316Dff.).

The orchids are, if you will, a presentation of orchids to the concepts, in their constrained beauty, their unrestrained wildness at times, which yet has a decorum, like the whirl of some fascinating dance, orderly and yet dedicated to the expression of spirit which far surpasses, though it deigns to use - ORDER.

As creators, we share in the movements creation allows; as sub-creators we can be inspired by our own Creator; as recipients we can learn; as followers we can seek in measure to imitate, or as fellows of the Friend who made us, we can be inspired. It is only however, when we read what He has caused to be written, not in the engineering language which enables us to be more and other than engineers, as our spirit moves in the donated equipment of our anatomy and physiology, but in those symbolic terms called words, that we can discern the rest of the picture. It is done in art, in the skies, in the flowers, in exquisite art in orchids, in depth in the seas, in wonders in the oceans and the icy mountains rearing in majesty, in concord in the harmony of vast lake in its peace and noble inspiring tentacles of the heights of the vast monsters of alpine splendour; and all of this speaks as music does, the message it is designed to give.

"Your people shall be willing in the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.

The LORD has sworn, and will not relent,
'You are priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.' "

It is THIS beauty, inspired by Him, given lease by Him through His redemption that bring discord to concord, and evil to good result, denunciation to pardon and weakness in spirit to power from God, that we worship:
He was heralded, and pronounced as the One to be hurt;
He came to the bugles of heaven, awakening the Shepherds,
He acted as none but the architect of Life could act,
and was and is,
its Prince (from Acts 3:14-16)*2.
The architect is always better than his productions, when in his full vigour of mind, apart from any purely personal pollutions, such as Christ did not touch and did not touch Him; for just as the soldiers in death, if their motives are sound, can surpass even their lives, so did He, in bearing sin, make the highest expression of life. It could OVERCOME death physically, it could OVERCOME justice justly, bearing justice to spare those who could not bear it, it could present the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS like orchids to the spirit, in the peace of communion between man and God, inspiring faith, and working through it, in a generation of joy, as free as the designs of orchids, far freer yet, for these have form constraints, and this is only spiritually constrained, so that we read,
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty!" (II Cor. 3:17).

There we find this:

"Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory,
just as by the Spirit of the Lord" - II Cor. 3:16-18.


For Beauty,
see also SMR Ch. 5, and
Questions and Answers   5.

See later in this chapter for reason and references.

See also,
Scoop of the Universe, 57, 59,
TMR  1,8,
SMR Ch.3, and pp. 159, 315B-316A, 137, 1-50,
Repent or Perish Ch.  7, End-note 2, 4;
A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 16, 4 Section 4
Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming ... Chs.  2 4 5 6.


See also: TMR 1, p. 23,  TMR 6, SMR p. 101, pp. 279ff., TMR 8, esp pp.292ff., Scoop of the Universe  52, Little Things Ch.   7, Licence for Liberty Ch.  4, News 44, 82, 122.

This reads as follows:

"But you despised the Holy One and the Just,
and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
and killed the Prince of life,
whom God raised from the dead,
of which we are witnesses,
And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know."