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LAWS, LEVERS AND THE LORD
During this last week, on May 9, 2000, there was an interview on the ABC in this country. It concerned the Head of the Department of Oncology in the Prince of Wales Hospital - Pamela Russell. Research was into cancer in the prostrate and bladder areas, into its cause but especially its cure. Hence it concerned genetic operations.
As she revealed the source of her fascination, and the objectives of her research, the characteristics of the teamwork, the mutually supportive skills necessary for its advance, she used a metaphor which was evocative.
It was fascinating, as they sought to find the etiology and cure of genetic defects, to consider the way the entire facility operated. There were LEVERS at MANY levels. For this and that purpose, there were levers, controls, disposing resources which directed events, comprising limits or levels or directions. So vast was this reticulation, so intricate this network, that a question arose during the interview. Was there ONE GREAT LEVER controlling all ? The concept, put to her, did not grasp her imagination. It was an interesting way of putting it, but it appeared not to confine itself to the actual observations which she had made.
NOT ONE great lever, but rather many levers of many grades doing many things in an overall disposition of forces which was staggering: THIS is what she was finding. One could see that the UNITY and INTEGRITY of the entirety was fascinating her; its sheer intellectual magnitude, its multiplicity of operating levels, all precise, all graded, or interlocking, all involved in one vast and total enterprise.
We have often on this site pondered the precision of genetics, its editing facilities, its information input, its command-concept-information synthesis, overarching mere action and reaction. However this current point seems worthy of notation.
LEVERS and LEVELS OF LEVERS and PRECISION OF OPERATION at GRADED LEVELS so that the an INTRICATE TOTALITY operates with brilliance: this was the input which she gave as she studied the resources needed to overcome various derangements which might occur.
Not too many machines last at least 6000 and perhaps 10000 years and are basically intact! Not too many codes are competent to revise themselves s they reproduce their own hardware, with editing, and to operate with a sheer lavishness of brilliance which resembles the sun in its exuberance of energy, but here in its intellectual facility and felicity. As an intellectual construction, with code, concepts and commands, with revision and reproduction, interaction with other genetic material in procreation, and codes for growth with all the myriad details involved, geometrically alone in the day by day growth from baby to maturity, with various faces and interfaces requiring constant alteration like a tailor waiting on Madame with scissors as she grows, staggering in their immensity of planning and intensity of operation: it is without parallel on the earth. YOU are without parallel on the earth, reader, although to be sure, your codes are so virile, or dispersive, that there are now around 6 billion like you. Imagine a building fabricating a suburb, a city, a land in all its cities; but THESE buildings are far greater than that.
What then are you ? Levers ? Levels ? Of what ? Organisation, synthesis, of what ? But before we pursue this aspect which alone enables you to read this with any understanding at all, let us consider what we have found, what the research professor had met in her charmed tour of the genetic realities, their control and their incorporation, their intricacy and their correlated LEVELS OF OPERATION and oversight, control, disposing direction, commands and inhibitions, gearing, guiding and gracing them, as they performed for some other objective than mere existence. They performed to build, to replicate and to realise ... what ?
The overall plan is what is IN FACT realised, and that, it is your personally mobile EQUIPMENT which you use in order to travel, think, walk, talk and grow (including grow old, but this is not fatal to the enterprise even physically, since many more may be built FROM your building, before your unit expires, so that the city of life grows in SIZE, though NOT in KIND! - and that is another marvel! Its levers are levelling, though at the same time permissive of variety in the kind).
WHAT is it which has many commands, all interconnected to the point of being a visibly joint operation, with many materials, aggregated and congregated, then dispersed into forms which interact and comprise and multiple function whole, of integral KIND and determinable PURPOSES ? It is what is called a DESIGN. Is there ONE LEVER which controls it all ? Of course not. There is no ONE LEVER in a CAR, but there are many such, all inter-related and in the ultimate, inter-connected in ... what ? in THOUGHT in the mind of the designer (provided only it is a GOOD design, with proper discipline of thought and planning, and proper KNOWLEDGE of the properties of what is being designed, and the PURPOSE for which the design exists).
In LIFE, the interconnections are profound, as are the interactive possibilities, for example, in nervous system, sympathetic nervous system, nerve cells, neurons, synapses, storages of information, brain centres, their interaction and to a degree, adaptability of function sometimes in cases of injury, like a team ready for being re-disposed by the coach (only in this case, the coaching also relates to program not a little, made thousands of years ago)!
This then is a LIFE DESIGN. That is the meaning of the word "design". That is the raw material which is exhibited in such a consideration as the human body. HAVE this and its exhibits the function known as design. We have earlier on this site discussed the follies of trying to distance the reality from the definition, and the absurdity of reserving for exclusion from the concept of DESIGN what is beyond all argument the greatest example of its FOCUS AND FEATURES as definable, which EXISTS ON THE EARTH!
That ? It is rather like saying this: Marjorie Smithy runs ten times faster than any other lady, has better limbs, greater proportionality, deeper savvy, is more sophisticated in preparation and in facility by far, is incomparably the greatest runner alive, or which ever has been known, but we do not call her an ATHLETE! Why ? Because she too well meets the criteria ? Is it envy, madness, then or both, which prevents the STAR EXHIBIT from the notation which corresponds!
Certainly, it is perverse, and the follies of KANT who as a philosopher helped this spiritual inanity, have been dealt with in detail as well as in overview before, exposed and justly dismissed as, in this area, mere confusion (see SMR Ch.5, and Predestination and Freewill Appendix on Kant, MA thesis for the University of Melbourne). Basically, you CANNOT with logical consistency EXCLUDE causation from consideration, and adequate causation at that, in any enterprise, because to do so you must reason with logic, which exists in its integrity and compulsive power, ONLY by rationality. If you despise rationality, then your OWN arguments by which you make your contempt known, are BASED necessarily on the very thing you dismiss. Hence you dismiss your own validity in seeking to present your adverse view of causality, and hence become systematically invalid in WHATEVER you present.
Further, you ascribe CAUSES for the correctness of your dismissive view, and IF YOU ARE RIGHT, then it is because you are wrong. If you are valid, it is because your arguments use validity; but since you dispense with it logically, then your presumed correctness is your demonstrated incompetence. You cannot say a car is useless in motion, while driving there to do it! (Not rationally.)
If however you decide to be irrational, then appeals to rationality as your ground for this preference are not only IRRELEVANT, but ridiculous. This is to despise 'capitalism' and use it for your own strength (the Chinese case), to lampoon mathematics, and to use it to show how correct your lampooning really is.
Further to ascribe GROUNDS for the existence of causality, which ASSUME it a mere derivation is a clear case of self-contradiction. If your research into its derivation is CORRECT, then you are thereby showing BY its presumed existence, HOW it came to be. Yet this is the par excellence case of begging the question, perhaps, which has ever existed! WITH an assumed active causative process going along simply splendidly, you are able, looking back to assumed netherlands of history, to find just how causation hopped into existence. You cannot however, rationally, account FOR the derivation of something BY using it as the BASIS of the derivation. In that case, it is there before it is there, in order to enable it to be there. HOW mankind can engage in such fuzzy thoughts is not entirely, to a teacher, too amazing, though it is staggering even to the most experienced.
WHEN a student 'hates' a subject, there is almost no limit to his torpidity, in potential. IF he dislikes the teacher, that helps the incapacity to learn. If he hates 'life', this will make for more opportunities of stultification, provided life is the topic. If guilt is in the mind, then the subject where it looms may have overtones of discomfort, also a ready remedy for clarity of thought! When however there is an overwhelming DESIRE to avoid something, such as a husband whom the wife hates, or a wife whom the husband hates, or a political party in the same sort of focus, or a nation, or a race or ... a religion: then there is a sheer splendour of incompetence available. Shouting and ranting, railing and failing, misapprehension and sulking, shame and shamelessness, twisting of facts and tormenting of truth: it is all ON!
It is the maker of this particular design, as it undoubtedly definitionally is, from a CAUSE which is dimensionally past man's uttermost capacity for rational thought, miniaturisation and sheer complexity of control to INVENT as the sun above the moon (and this is just at the corporeal or bodily level, forget ... the rest, which we are all currently using happily), it is HE who is the problem area ? In what sense, however ? Is it because it is HE whom the subject "just cannot stand" ? Is it even TALKING ABOUT HIM, which is intolerable, or thinking about Him, or worse still, any thought of RELATING to Him, and worse yet, RELATING REALISTICALLY!
"I JUST HATE HIM!" is concept often met. There is a sheer cliff face of verticality about it. It is elemental, it is like an arrow in the heart. It is ever there, always rankling, tending to dismiss life itself; or in this case, rationality and ... REALITY! Reality dispersers are frequently found in our race, and they can act as a kind of soporific, a drug, an analgesic, so that a person may choose in this way (or obsessively be borne in this way, like a glider in a down-draught) ... and disbelief and distaste are high on the list for this purpose.
Some may feel there is so much PAIN on the earth that it is intolerable to acknowledge the existence of the designer who created the man creature, since like some gigantic war criminal, still in power, He is best dismissed from the realms of thought altogether, while every effort is made to humiliate, to disperse and to overthrow His power. That is met in the coverage on this topic (Pain, Suffering and Evil). In fact, this forces us to look at the NEXT LEVEL OF DESIGN. Penalties are often unpleasant and unpleasurable, and mockery of folly is seldom embraced. However as we see in these references, they are not avoidable, and our very sensitivities and sensibilities are precisely those operated on, by our own Designer, in rebukes aplenty, both systematically over all creation, and individually concerning one person at a time! But let us return to the next level of design, after the merely physical or bodily.
Not merely, as the lady professor attested, is there an intricate series of inter-related LEVERS in the body, but there are further entire regions in the mind and the spirit. These entities are revealed in SMR Chs. 1-3 and elsewhere, including pp. 348ff., and we shall not rehearse these materials, ab initio, here, though providing some short coverage. Thus, we must simply note that material things are not capable of MISTAKES, since the concept is illusory.
It IMPLIES a plan and purpose which is being negated or compromised or failed. HENCE a mistake is conceivable. Without it, there is mere happening. We humans tend to be full of mistakes. There is the mistake which sank what was (even then) 1600 million dollars US in the sea of error, in the case of the Challenger spacecraft, which did not hit space but the ocean, because... a mistake was made in the planning. Planning! say some. Rubbish! that was O-rings. Really ? Did they then hop about by some program of their own ? Did BEINGS called CONTRACTORS and PERSONS called SUPERVISORS have a thing known commonly as RESPONSIBILITY for CHECKING materials to ensure that they conformed to the quality, composition, and placement which was REQUIRED by a PLAN which someone or some group CREATED!
Precisely. It is even so! The PLAN went astray because it was not fool-proof. The PERSONS went astray because they had too many assumptions about what would be adequate checking, or too many dismissals of those plans, by some other plan, which supervened. It may have been cost-cutting, laziness, lack of insight, but whatever it was, the ACTUAL plan performance, itself a form of planning, failed. So did the space-craft. It is well your own BODY does better.
What, however, about your own MIND! Have YOU ever made too easy assumptions about what it would TAKE to accomplish some objective ? in school ? in profession ? in the domestic domain ? with your children ? One does not meet too many perfect people on this earth, which, considering its nature, is a mercy... Of course you have failed in thought. Sometimes you have even failed in symbolic logic, and sometimes BECAUSE you did not use it aright, or even understand it: this is enormously probable. That is a purely MENTAL error. But at other times, though your mind may have been working with almost beatific felicity, like a savvy sports car doing its stuff, and you could SEE PRECISELY what was needed, you CHOSE NOT to do it!
THE POIGNANT PATHOLOGY
It may have been selfishness, that you wanted acclaim for yourself; or it may have been dislike, that you did not want someone else to get acclaim. It may have been ambition, that you wanted the opportunity to perform, even though realising to the full, that some other person would have been better according to PLAN. It may even have been spiritual desire, that you wanted to KEEP YOUR DISTANCE FROM GOD. Certainly, many do: they would literally rather DIE than have any overlord, God included! "We will not have this man to reign over us!" (Luke 19:14), in the Biblical parable puts it! You will notice the "WILL"!
It may have been soaring pride, in that you overestimated your own capacities, NOT because your mind did not tell you, but because your overweaning spiritual dignity misled you, and you imagined without thought, that you could and should do it, or not do it, as the case may have been in its attractiveness to you. The possibilities of errors of SPIRIT, of WILL are virtually limitless, layer on layer, concept on concept, consciousness on consciousness, aim on aim and evaluation on evaluation. AFTERWARDS, like Hamlet, like Macbeth in Shakespeare, you may REPENT or REGRET or even be INCREDULOUS that you could even POSSIBLY have done such a thing, performed in such a way. Alternatively, you may grieve that even POSSIBLY you could have failed to do it, such an opportunity for tenderness of kindness, or consideration or advance of goodness, or whatever may have been the case.
It may have been a thought soaring, imagination dull or over-keen, a hope, a level of aspiration; but in the end, it is dust. You know it, realise to the full the misuse of potential involved, and wonder how it could be. It was not MERE ERROR, though error it was. It was a form of blindness, of voluntary dulling of conspectus, or even obliteration of elements of life from the very arena of thought, altogether.
THIS is another sort of disease. We commenced with the genetic variety where, despite magnificence of causally induced, conceptual creation, there comes to be this or that error in the performance, and this despite all the editorial facilities to keep to type. Incidentally, the sheer incapacity of information to generate itself in life is one of the major thrust of information science (the sort that, being 'science', deals with facts, with actuality), and it is this which makes a mockery of the imaginative relish of disdain towards the majesty of the actual causative Creator, and does so, to the uttermost. Information is a conceptual and mental thing, and the formulation of the conceptual is a mental affair. Minds do not operate without their own presence. Their products do not so come any more than road transport on wheels without wheels. This is what DOES NOT EVIDENCE ITSELF. This is fact. It is also principle, for the domain of symbolic logic is not one of happening, but a guided tour of a conspectus of symbols and their signification, directive in type, interventionist in program.
The BODILY genetic pathology is one layer of levers. Then there is the MENTAL pathology, another entire region of action, where MISTAKES can occur, and do so because CONCEPTUALLY that is the WAY in which we ACTUALLY WORK!
We started it in Primary school
and before, and our teachers were able to assist us to realise that MISTAKES
CAN AND DO OCCUR, either because we are stupid as students, or they are
stupid as teachers, or something in-between, or more pleasant to say, but
not more pleasant to do. IT HAPPENS.
It is often arrogance, inattention, lack of desire, misplaced planning and so on. THESE errors later in life can be intricately involved in many mental mistakes in many disciplines like a plan over-wrought, mistaken, a building made by blunderers, which the real expert constructionists would rather destroy than attempt to remodel! (Biblically, we are "regenerated" or born again, this time in spiritual felicity, into the family of God Himself - as in John 3, Philippians 2-3, I Peter 1; and this from the state signified in Ephesians 4:17ff., to that shown in I John 3).
This is the mental sphere of error, and levers here can operate in various directions. They may intertwine with the next domain, but for the moment, this is our occupation of thought.
Thus you can have a wrong CONCEPT
in mathematics or politics, and HENCEFORTH until you correct it, ALL your
thinking is POTENTIALLY crippled, and actually often astray, FOR THIS MENTAL
CAUSE. You can have a wrong PROCEDURE in thought, and this potentially
always and often actually dims your wits, and ... your harasses your mental
Such as ? Something like a throat, or a business opportunity (which was mere ambition on legs, and without basis), or your heart's desire (only to be exposed as mere preening dream) and so on. Esteem ? Let us return to that one moment. Why not simply esteem what is estimable, and have awe at what is awesome, and attribute splendour to what has it, and nobility to what evinces it: why this search and even research for self-approbation ?
Is a doctor delightful who is ever
attuning his thoughts to his performance, in COMPETITION with his actual
performance on YOU, concerned about his self-image more than the image
of your body resulting from his scalpel, or having these intrusions of
'self' into service! For one, I should delight in being absent from any
such preoccupied place, however remote may SEEM the intrusion during the
actual operation. In ALL domains of life, the intrusion of the erroneous
CAN come in special circumstances, LETHALLY - as for example in the case
of professional pride or aspersion on competitors (seen as such rather
than co-creators in a discipline). The list is endless seeming.
MISTAKES ? Alas YES!
A mistake ? Certainly. You may WANT good for all, and achieve evil for all. You may desire to create a brave new world, like Himmler in at least one of his modes, and achieve something of a bullying unrealism which is not only distasteful, but a form of old bullying! Your aim, or plan and your attainment spread apart like someone doing the splits! Ah but! you say perhaps, I am myself (your humility is cleverly disguised the while) very successful. I aimed to be rich, and am. I tried to be popular, and am. My efforts to do good have been inspirational to others. Altogether I am, even to myself, intriguing, fascinating and never make a mistake - or so rarely that I blush to consider my amazing competence (why ? ashamed of pride ? then at least you know of it!). Personally, if only were more like me, you may humbly aver, the world would be a better place and life a worthier thing.
This may be you paean of personal praise.
Perhaps. Yet if one were to look at this paragon, it would be at someone so insensitive to what other people were doing, in that the satisfaction is within a total world in anguish and agonies and heart attacks of spirit and murders and slaughter of name, reputation and bodies, falling like rain drops, that your AIMS do not appear to have been very REALISTIC. After all, if it blew up, your plans might not be so great, in their fantastic ignoring of the realities about you, on which, like it or not, you depend far more than your current planning (in the imaginary case above) allows for! THAT at once is the first mistake.
Rubbish! you may reply. I do not mind if the whole world blows up tomorrow, for as of today, my PLANS are all realised and self-satisfaction is my second name. Call it smug, but I am not a thug, I seek to do good to my neighbours (only the near ones admittedly), have enriched the earth by my cunning contrivances, and if it all ended tomorrow, too bad. My plans allow for such a possibility. I cannot alter other people (except by some of my clever personal manipulations, but I am realistic enough, you may add, to know my own limits here)....
But wait! YOUR OWN LIMITS. YOUR
LEVERS! WHAT are you who so pride yourself on
performance ? Your oblivion of others to the degree implied in your self-glorying achievement register, is forgetful of the Maker of all, and of the fact that it was by courtesy of father and mother you so much as exist, and of the world scene, that you could occupy your own place in it EVEN AS OF YESTERDAY, and of all the yesterdays, back to your zygote stage.
- Did YOU make the zygote, was your ingenuity the source of the procreative manufacturing
- Did your knowledge create life ?
- Was it to you that we owe allegiance for inventing mind ?
- And is your own mind, mindless of the minds you did not create but with which you share the universe, the source of its own satisfaction, though it neither understands nor could in the least degree make itself ?
- Are you reasonable then, to ignore your automatic shut-out of realities untold and unnumbered, to which you owe your own capacity for self-delusion ?
- And is the delusion that you do not OWE your existence to a designer commendable ?
And is your IGNORANCE of Him realistic ?
- And is your failure to receive the realities, worthy of ANY sort of commendation ?
You live by the tolerance of another, and fail even to know HIS DESIGN for your mind and spirit, far less to understand the way He created that for your body, which AUTOMATICALLY (in the main, though your fears may interfere to the point of ulcers with its operations) works for you.
It works FOR YOU, like a Jaguar in your garage, which you did not purchase. Shall you then congratulate yourself on its presence, and be content with its performance! Marvellous, such blindness.
Thus Jesus said this:
There is a design, then for your mind and for your spirit, but it is not in entirety OBLIGATORY.
THE DESIGNER AND DESIGNS ON HIS
BY THE DESIGNED
It is so profound a design from so deep a Designer that you CAN misuse your mind through ill-will, hatred of someone or yourself, or of life, or of work; and you CAN misuse your spirit, manipulate your own will in what is commonly called rationalisation, but could be called spontaneous episodes of irrational psychic invention; and you can duck from reality in ways which are codable in what is normally referred to as logical errors, and you CAN soar into the unknown as if it were not knowable, until your fertile mind lies deadened in the end of your life on earth, contributing like all the other philosophers, precisely nothing.
Such is the case when without God, and when not knowing God, mere blind leaders of the blind, are justly exposed in their errors by succeeding generations, as is normal in philosophy! Designing to understand, their designs are understood to lack understanding. Such is the history of philosophy. And... THAT IS WHY it is so!
It is in this location, the history of efforts to undo what God has done, and to re-make what the Lord has made, in the arena of thought. It cannot be, and hence, is not, done. Efforts like Autumn leaves bespatter the earth with the colours of blood, often enough as in Communism, no mere fantasy but complete with red blood cells. But they do not live. They are the exponents and the expositions of death. Their grave-yard is often visited, never alive. Errors of spirit are a teeming multitude, bumptious, obsessive, and dead while they speak, their print the matrix of machinations that do not fly: an aviation museum is this graveyard, and its objects rust in their undelectable doom.
When you want to use numbers and ignore that 2+2=4, then your liabilities will find you out in the end. When you want to look at life and ignore its designer, then your foibles will fail in the end. History has no more fascinating exhibit than the history of the necrosis of philosophies, dying as if their very lives depended on it, interred generation by generation by the detritus of ever new, ever blind aspirations, that hit the earth too hard, but do not help it!
SMR Ch. 5 shows some of the ways in which these chronic evils are all so simply corrected when you START with the DESIGNER who not only TOLD us into action in His design and creative dynamic, sheer power of engineering and intellect and spirit, but who TOLD our minds and INFORMED our spirits of the PURPOSE of His design: for that is the nature of design, to have purpose.
Ignorant of our purpose, the world exhibits this ignorance in its present condition, deliciously (though grievously) mocking itself by failing constantly in its 'handling' of itself, with ever new variations of ever old shames and shams. Dispense with God, this is one of the oldest; BUILD instead of being a building merely: make something instead for man, that is not of God. Play the Creator. Being truant, teach your own class, make your own matrix.
A tempting variant, often touched (as in Communism's hopes of controlling the laws of Nature! at its beginnings in the affair of Lysenko) is thus to become God, and sects like Mormons appear to toy in this way or that with this anti-Biblical blasphemy, flaming with irrationality, as the temporal sets its eye on the eternal, and the made on being the Maker, the dependent on being independent, the contriver, the contriver (cf. Romans 1, Isaiah 45, Psalm 82, Ezekiel 29, see Stepping out for Christ Ch. 9, and Ch.8, pp. 91ff. in the present volume). At the end, the antichrist is to SPECIALISE in this romp, which being direct, will be directly answered at its ... maturity (II Thessalonians 1-2, Revelation 19).
Since Babel the babble goes on, the world goes off, and man becomes fascinated with his own cleverness (sometimes in one realm, called Science), to the point of idolatry. But the idol does not deliver. That is the prerogative of God. Idols never do deliver for they are mere symbols of (or substitutes for) what they do not have the blessedness to BE! You do not become the Creator or co-creator of the universe by being an assembled part, initiating your existence by all evidence, as a programmee, for all the wonders of possible communication with the ONE who IS in and of that glory. Imaginations about your own eternity do not create it, and capacities correlative do not appear! Neither birth nor death are at our consultation, nor does understanding have any powers to know the thing that it is!
Truly, there is in man, a midget in the presence of grandeur, and if he rejects his midgetry, it is not because there is doubt of its factual character. It is only by the love of God that something more delightful can come; it is only by finding his own place, that man can appreciate and relate to the magnificences of the Maker. As to the creation, in the beginning God created heaven and earth; and in Genesis 2:4, we find that this account is of what happened in the process. As to Christ, the Bible tells us: "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" - John 1:3. Whatever is a component therefore of "all things" is made; and not only so, made by Him who became incarnate as Christ. As the word of God, His is the execution of it all; and as God's own word, He is eternal with Him (John 8:58). But as to us, it is infinitely different. We are creations, part of the "all things", act like it, speak like it, and are ignorant for all our comprehensions, at the level of our own creation. Components, ambulatory and cognitive, spirited and synthesised a trilogy of mind, matter and spirit, all designed, their integration a design, and hence effective, a vast congeries of concepts and symbols allied to an engineered platform, mankind plays his part in the amplitude of "all things", proceeding from the hand and heart of God.
MAN, then, is such a component,
like a mirage manufactured by powers other than itself, but assuredly not
without cause. Insufficient in himself, he is sufficed for; inadequate,
he is given a kind and a kindred for thousands of years; vulnerable, he
is enabled; without understanding, he is endued and caused to proceed,
notwithstanding! A result, he causes much; but himself he does not cause.
THAT, it is the work of his designer, the outcome of his Creator, skilled
in thought and so creating it, skilled in design and showering His products
upon the earth; illimitably at liberty, and granting to man his own modicum,
within the confines of creation.
So there is no deliverance from delusion, but the world with sheer obstinacy and pertinacity of purpose, continues to attempt the impossible, in gross and delusive ignorance of God, blaspheming itself into an oblivion which does not stop its subservience with physical death, but reaches to the realms of the spiritual pit, where the smouldering ruins of false aspiration may contemplate their own follies... (as in Mark 9, Isaiah 66:23-24, Daniel 12:1ff., and Jude with II Peter). ONLY by a miraculous intervention of the order of the creation itself, is man able to be restored TO his creator, being so blind and assertively ignorant, misled and confused, abused and abusive. Such is the reality, for man has to become a "new creation", not some superman, but like a smashed car, a restored man, made "in the image of Him who created him" (Colossians 3:10). It is RESTORATION by NEW CREATION, and the restoration itself ? it is simply to the image in which he was first made.
It is intriguing, certainly, however deplorable, to watch the ascending powers of unchanging man in his world, from generation to generation: to construct and to destroy; but it is limited, what he can destroy, and he is already at the margin for that! Environmentalists in one sense, are simply a symptom of that fact.
Just as knowledge's increase was predicted by Daniel (in Ch.12); and this ceaseless international movement of spiralling travel within this 'little world' likewise fulfils his words. Alas, so fulfilled likewise is Christ's depiction of its course, evil and evil men, false prophets and christs aplenty, like rats at an apple cake.
Thus the more man grabs of LEVERS, the more power he has to SPOIL DESIGN, since he willingly and wilfully does not understand its PURPOSE, though it is written, and its DELIVERER though He has come, and His REMEDY though it is available. God who spoke design, has spoken to the spiritual component of it, addressed the mental part of it, and exposes in measure to due results, the physical expression of it; and to this little trilogy called man, the Creator has so spoken with such evidence for so long by ONE man, Jesus Christ, and ONE book, the Bible, in ONE multitudinously testable series of words, of ONE purport from MANY races and cultures, of ONE God, that the end can only come to the obliterative facade of man. And it will!
These divine words are like levers to the soul. They move with facility to their target, though it vainly resists, and often resisting, fulfils its own condemnation, and that justly.
These words of God, they protest,
they insist, they carry the same message for thousands of years, they predict
history, it follows like a lamb, they depict things that have been, will
be, and now are, but few heed, for few there are who enter on that narrow
way by that narrow gate (Matthew 7:13ff.).
THE LIBERTY OF NARROWNESS
Narrow! Do I hear someone expostulating if not indeed exploding into verbal action! I HATE NARROWNESS, someone routinely chimes, like the bells of a shattered Big Ben, in cacophonous irritation. Do you ? Then disassembly your own body with its multiple levers of CONSTRICTING PLAN, which FORCE things to happen in ONE ONLY way, in in ONE ONLY PROGRAM, or within ONE ONLY set of specifications. THESE NARROWNESSES give you physically the power to use your own tongue in order to make your philosophic explosion.
Without these CAUSALLY ENGINEERED narrowness, confinements, constrictions, commands, series of graded commands, YOU COULD NOT EVEN EXPLODE. Your capacity to hate narrowness depends on your having it! Paradoxical ? Not at all, it is merely the normal disaster prescription. Two ways exist, one only goes. 1) Hate what you are, and HENCE the One who made you, or 2) conform and find what He wanted. But if you insist, your talk becomes gabble, your protestations descend from philosophy to garbage, your arguments their own disaster. That, it is not paradox, but exposure ... of error!
It is SO simple. The former 'way' is called rebellion and is irrational. Logic as shown in SMR Chs. 1-3,10 forces us to God and the Bible as His sole authoritative word ot mankind. Love should respond to His willingness as shown in the Bible, to become man and be a sacrifice, so that our insidious spiritual disorders should be healed, our deserts dismissed and His justice exhilaratingly exhibited as the just for the unjust, He bears the follies and so in complete justice, forgives (as in II Corinthians 5:17ff., I Peter 2:22ff., Galatians 3:1-13, I John 1:7ff., I Peter 3:18, Philippians 2). In fact, as I John 1 has it, if we confess our sins He is faithful and JUST to forgive us our sins.
It is not the arbitrary will of a fickle tyrant, but the PLANNED PURPOSE of a PEACEABLE PRINCE, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life who made it (Colossians 1), and who to re-make it for some, and all who in faith come to Him, suffered mangling of form for force of deliverance: it is this which is now in view. HE HAS PAID, and being omniscient, He has covered ALL who should EVER come to Him, and as to these, if God so gave at this personal level, His only begotten Son, how much more does He give the needs of spiritual life to those who receive Him (as Romans 8:32 expressly declares). Thus, having paid for His own, it is in JUSTICE that His power to pardon is used (cf. Romans 3:23ff.), though the love that so uses justice was a costly one!
Love ? This is it. Liberty ? You
have it, for you may refuse. Disease ? It is yours, so that you should
seek deliverance from it. Cure and remedy ? It is present. Obliterative
disregard ? You may use this option.
But remember this, you DO NOT and CANNOT have the option of CHOOSING God as any time, since Christ expressly stated YOU DO NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU (John 15), and Paul - Whom He will He hardens! (Romans 9). God knows when the fruit is ripe.
Oh well! you say, who cares! It is far simpler than that. "What if," asks Paul in Romans 9:22, God put up with the rebellious with much patience FIRST! - the God who oversees time in history as one may oversee the hills from an aeroplane, aware of, but not controlled by their terrain.
It is the GOD WHO WOULD NOT HAVE ANY TO PERISH that we are dealing in this word of God, the Bible (I Timothy 2). HE WOULD HAVE THEM COME TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. That is His gracious disposition, but as with even human parents, it is not the same as a directive to events. He does not violate; but He does deliver.
Well then, you say, why does He not just DO IT, then, make it all nice and happy. The answer to that is in the nature of ourselves, His creation, which has spirit and not mere robotic mechanisms. Do you love by command (and see Ch. 16, A Spiritual Potpourri for the analysis of the situation). It is because of His creation, which He created by PLAN. It is IN HIS IMAGE, which of course, since God is a Spirit (John 4), does not and CANNOT MEAN some physical thing. It means we can fellowship with Him, communicate with Him, are not alien in construction to the point we CANNOT know Him, but are kin in the sense that as children, but in this case CREATION children, we MAY KNOW HIM.
To be sure, your sickness precludes your choosing (except to say no! like the murmur of a dying patient in calamitous fever). It does not however preclude the stated love of God. IF you reject Him, it is far beyond your mere fever which for its part, gives a knee-jerk reaction. GOD KNOWS who are His own, did so before the whole creation was commenced (Ephesians 1:4). Leave Him to do the work of psychiatry and knowledge, for it is both just and loving: Your part is to repent, and realising, to come and to accept His amazing provision. Your part is to come to Christ and to acknowledge that the narrow confines of your body are correlative to the narrow realities of spirit, which alone give you liberty.
Paradox! NO AGAIN! Certainly not. Like a narrow defile in which the exuberant streams rush headlong, so narrowness BY ITS CONFINEMENT enables life and leaping and force and guidance. BUT, you obstinately ? (forgive me, but it is often of this appearance) continue, exclaiming, 'I SHALL NEVER BE CONFINED!' Hell is broad. Reality makes you a creation and this in itself is a confinement. 'I FEEL IT IN ME TO ACCEPT NO CONFINEMENT: IT IS MY DESTINY,' you studiously and disdainfully continue.
Really ? The devil is like that, created but never content with being a 'mere' creation, desiring to act as God without really being it. THAT IS IRRATIONAL. It is fairy talk. But one can understand the desire to be with God, to have access to His illimitable realities, since nothing but He is there to guide or to establish. Your desire, in this case, is merely the pathological exhibition of your creation 'parentage'. You are akin to Him in one way, that you can relate. IN RELATING however, you need to find the SORT of relationship which a CREATURE has to its Creator. In this case, it (literally, in the gospel provision, by which you might be provided for! and if you come, ARE) miraculously includes being loved, having a Great Physician to heal you, and having the destiny of son or daughter, of being children of God.
With such a God, to prefer yourself
as the ONE LEVER (a ridiculous concept as the professor seemed to realise,
in preferring a series of graded ones, empirically, in considering the
genetic reality), is merely to prefer what is less for what is more, what
is selfish (by essential definition), to what is. It is to ignore DESIGN
on the part of the one who is not the designer, in the realm of Him who
"Shall the axe boast itself against
him who chops with it ?
Or shall the saw exalt itself against him who saws with it ?
As if the rod could wield itself against those who lift it up,
Or as if a staff could lift up, as if it were not wood!
"Therefore the Lord, the Lord of
Will send leanness among his fat ones;
And under His glory,
He will kindle a burning,
Like the burning of a fire.
So the Light of Israel will be for a fire,
And his Holy One for a flame.
It will burn and devour..."
The creation man, may reasonably delight to find the place IN the Creator where he may abide, yes under the shadow of a mighty rock: and he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. Yet this is what it must be. It is not an exhibition of delusive self-hood, as if god were somehow to be found within, or in nationhood, or in worldliness, as if this world were its own boss. It is not in creation at all, but in God, in His NON-creation, His increate wonder, that there is nothing selfish, but rather what is unlimited, needing nothing, giving all.
To know Him, is the wonder for Man.
To become man that we might journey safely and justly to God, this was
His plan. To find Him therefore is not hard: it is He who called, His visiting
card the healings, the words, the cross, the resurrection, the predictive
pronouncements to history, as in His life on earth, to the meteorological
elements, to bodies, to the minds of men, to their spirits. To refuse Him,
it is to prefer ignorance to knowledge, fantasy to fact, and self-regard
for the lover who made all! The constructions of self become the agents
of destiny; and as such of ruin. Intemperate, selfish and
irrational ? Alas yes. You can have it if you want.
But it is simply a failure in plan:
and YOU in this case are the planner. You lack the competence, and you
plan a universe without capacity for your carapace. Exposed, you become
an exposition in lostness.