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How do we know what is real?

This work discusses reality in the twenty-first

century and how we know reality-using things
within our environment as concrete source of
examples. Who wants to know how God exist
from the order of things and patterns are
discussed in this work


What is real? Are things like tables, houses, rocks, trees and cars real? Are you real? Are
other people real? Is God real? How can you tell if something or someone is real or not?

This is a book about a new understanding of reality, for the late 1990s and the 21st Century.
The core claim here is that order is real, as real as energy, and that order, energy and God
constitute everything that exists in the universe. Correctly understanding the reality of order
provides a new bridge to understanding and appreciating the reality of God and other things
once thought to belong to the "supernatural." This is a book for people who want to
strengthen their beliefs and to resolve inconsistencies between their beliefs and their
"ordinary world" view of reality. And this is a book for people who are undecided, who are
not sure what to believe, not sure what is real and true and right.

The Great Benefits of Accurately Understanding Reality

A correct and accurate understanding of reality is essential to our functioning as adult human
beings in the world. This book aims to give you a new understanding of reality that is both
comprehensive and simple, an understanding that will help you:

• Reconcile the different and often conflicting claims of modern science, secular world
views and religious faith
• Integrate the various dimensions of your life, thought, and faith in a consistent,
systematic framework that will provide you with enduring strength
• Make better choices because you have reality in correct perspective
• Eliminate misconceptions and false beliefs which lead to anxiety, pain and
• Enjoy the deep satisfaction that comes from knowing profound truth and the
"meaning of life"
• Better understand other people and what motivates their behavior, both as individuals
and in group settings
• Become a more mature and capable person as you "put away childish things" from
your life and free yourself to achieve new levels of faith, commitment and peace. In
this book we will be exploring views of reality and truth from many different sources.

As the author, I will be sharing with you knowledge and insights gained over a half-century
of living, learning and thinking. Inevitably, this combination of information reflects one
person’s life, as does any book by a single author. But in preparing to write it, I have
attempted to fill the gaps in my existing knowledge with extensive research to achieve a truly
comprehensive system encompassing basically everything that exists in the universe.
Obviously this does not include every single thing, but it does deal with reality at many
different levels of complexity, from sub-atomic particles to human civilization and religion.

What Do We Mean By "Reality"?

The word reality comes from the Latin res meaning thing or fact. Briefly, reality in this book
means "things which actually exist and are essential and ultimate, not illusory, relative or
fraudulent." Ultimate reality refers to those things which actually exist at the deepest, most
fundamental levels of existence, the basic essentials beyond which there is no more reality.
Although discussions of ultimate reality can be complex and abstract, especially among
scholars, I have done my best to maintain a more down-to-earth, practical approach that
strives for simplicity. As a professional writer for more than 30 years, I have devoted much of
my career to communicating complex subjects simply and understandably. But let’s talk
about you some.

Your Own Understanding Of Reality

Your understanding of reality may be largely conscious or unconscious, certain or vague,

incomplete, partly developed or highly systematic. However your understanding of reality is
structured, it controls your life more than just about anything else. It functions as a filter,
constantly and rapidly monitoring incoming sensory signals and mental thoughts like radar,
determining what will be accepted within the mind and what will be rejected as "unreal,"
irrelevant or meaningless. How you answer the question, "What is real?", is not just one of
many questions. It is in many ways the ultimate question. It undergirds what you do with
your life, how you think and feel, what you believe in, how you communicate with others and
much more.

Most adults take "reality" for granted, and rarely think about it unless they have an
experience of suddenly "real-izing" that their minds were functioning on false assumptions
and a correction is in order. For example, a person might discover that a friend thought to be
trustworthy has in reality been deceitful, and the adjustment in thought and feeling which this
demands can be quite painful. While this relatively fixed adult view of reality may provide
some comfort and simplify daily living, it also can mean greater resistance to change the
older one becomes.

Young children, by contrast, are constantly refining their views of reality as their developing
minds struggle with the reality or non-reality of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, God, the
Tooth Fairy, cartoon characters, what they see on television, what other people from their
parents to their young friends tell them, and much more. A healthy mind seems to have an
inborn drive to test and discover reality and truth. Unfortunately some people lump God in
with the imaginary beings of childhood and never develop an adult understanding of God that
is utterly different from fantasy figures.

Ordinary Reality

"Ordinary reality" in this book refers to the everyday world of objects, plants, animals and
people, things we can observe with our senses and about which there is little disagreement
among average people. Tables, houses, rocks, trees, cars, buildings, the sun, weather, food,
exercise, our bodies, the clothes we wear, human beings, dogs, cats, flowers and millions of
other things fall into the category of ordinary reality. Although there is much more to
ordinary reality than most people realize, it provides a common ground of understanding that
makes communication and everyday life easier.

It is more accurate to view "ordinary reality" from two different perspectives. At one level
there are physical objects (both living and nonliving) and events about which there is
relatively little disagreement. At another level, there are our perceptions of what these things
mean and how we feel about them. For example, two people may disagree violently who was
at fault when their cars wrecked, but they do not argue that their cars have collided or that
they are now standing on the roadway in heated disagreement, or that the man approaching
them in a blue uniform is a policeman, or that it is going to be expensive to get these cars

Although we may disagree about the meaning of things or how we feel about them, if we lose
touch with what is commonly accepted as ordinary reality, we may be considered odd, weird,
eccentric, neurotic or psychotic. If one of us bothers enough people with his or her
"unrealistic" behavior, others may insist that the "disturbed" person be locked up in a mental
institution. More often, the relatively minor misperceptions and misunderstandings which we
all experience serve as irritants, to ourselves as well as others. Importantly, these common
misunderstandings can block the possibility of making freer choices and enjoying a deeper
experience of the meaning of life.

The Limits of Knowledge

To have a correct understanding of reality, it is very important to accept the limits of human
knowledge. In the section above, I stated rather glibly that most people tend to agree about
things they can observe with their senses. If you can see and feel a rock, hear the sound it
makes when you drop it on a table, taste it if you dare to take a lick, notice that it is cool to
the touch unless perhaps it has been lying in the sun, you have virtually zero doubt that that
rock is real.

But consider this: The appearance and color of that rock do not exist "out there in the external
world." Your eyes have received "bare" electromagnetic radiation of certain wavelengths,
which caused bioelectrical pulses to emanate from the visual receptor cells in your retina.
These pulses are repeated along the optic nerve and quickly reach the visual cortex of your
brain, where the pulses are interpreted as "how the rock looks." The appearance and color
associated with the rock are fabrications of your brain.

Or suppose the rock was lying in the sun when you picked it up. Again specialized cells in
your hand, sensitive to heat and pressure, sent bioelectric pulses along the pathways of your
nervous system, to be received and given "meaning" by the brain. While objects may be said
to have certain temperatures as measured by a thermometer or similar instrument, the
experience we know as warmth is a mental fabrication. Sound also does not exist in the
external world – only the movement of air waves. To the old puzzle, "If a tree falls in a forest
and no one hears it, does it make a sound?" the answer is decidedly "No." It makes air waves
but not sound—as long as no one, no single living thing, hears it.

It is a strange thought, but all the beauty and wonder of the external world, from shiny stones
to brilliant flowers, from gorgeous sunsets to magnificent symphonic music, exist entirely
within our minds. The external world is blank. In other words, reality is not "out there" as you
usually think of it. Instead, reality is what you think, that is, your experience of reality is the
result of your thoughts and your mental processes – not vice versa. Thus the title of this
chapter, "Reality Is Not What You Think—Reality Is What You Think."

Ultimate Reality

Whereas "ordinary reality" is immediately accessible by our senses and perceptions (even
though it is something of an illusion), ultimate reality requires much more effort to grasp. By
ultimate reality I mean reality at its deepest levels, peeling back the layers of experience and
knowledge till we reach the inner core, beyond which one can go no further because there is
no further to go. To understand ultimate reality, one has to consider some of the primary
claims of the sciences, psychology, philosophy and religious faith. And one will have to step
back from these traditional disciplines and view reality in an entirely new light, a view which
may be hard to grasp not because it is terribly complicated but because it is new and different.

This book has been written in a focused effort to make your journey toward a new, more
effective understanding of reality relatively simple, because ultimate reality is relatively
simple. In fact, the more ultimate you go, the simpler it gets. But first, let’s look at the most
prevalent view of reality today, a view so powerful and all-pervasive that it makes a new
view of reality extremely difficult to attain.

The Prevalent View Of Materialism

The view of reality which dominates the Western World and other parts of the globe is
commonly known as materialism. Materialism (matter-ialism) claims that only things
composed of matter which can be observed with the senses or measured with instruments are
real. Sometimes this view is called scientific materialism, which extends the "reality" of
matter to include energy and space-time. This conception of reality is taught, explicitly or
implicitly, in virtually all public schools in the Western World. It has become so widespread,
and science so undisputed as the source of "truth," that very few people doubt it.

To be more accurate about the claims of modern science, in the 20th Century scientists have
shifted from a literal materialism to a greater awareness of the importance of scientific
models which are simplified visualizations, conceptualizations or symbols of what is
considered a much more complex reality – ultimate reality, as defined above. Nevertheless
science as it is practiced day to day is very largely materialistic. The remarkable
achievements of science in recent years, from placing a man on the moon to creating new life
forms by genetic engineering, have reinforced the power of the materialistic view of reality
throughout our culture.

And how do we learn about what is happening in our world? Through the mass media,
especially newspapers, magazines and television, which also insist on the observable, the
objective, the material. Claims of non-observable realities are looked upon with great
skepticism by most mass media, although they may take religion seriously, especially at
times like Christmas and Easter, and may even feature articles by religious leaders.

Probably the force most responsible for widespread materialism in America and other
Western countries is the public education process. What I call "naive science" teaches that the
universe is composed of matter and energy in a space-time continuum . . . period. Evolution
is presented as fact when it is only a theory. From the time children are very young
throughout their whole education, an implicitly materialistic view of reality underlies
everything they are taught, every course, every topic, every class, by every teacher. Little
wonder that it tends to sink deep into the unconscious and affect thought, assumptions and
perceptions at all levels.

The result for many people of faith is that life is compartmentalized. For most of the week we
live in the secular compartment. When we go to church or synagogue, read the Bible, pray or
dwell on spiritual matters, we shift into the faith compartment. Sometimes this shifting back
and forth is very uncomfortable. Often it means that religious faith gets shut out of most of
our days and hours, and our lives are significantly impoverished as a result. If you work in
the world of business, you know how careful you must be about discussing religion with
clients, customers or even fellow workers. You run the risk of offending them and suffering
negative financial or career consequences.

The Inadequacy Of Materialism

Materialism as an understanding of reality leaves much to be desired. It reduces values such

as justice, love and peace to either observable external circumstances or the influence of
biochemicals on our brains. It excludes God and faith from most meaningful discussion.
Materialism is so inadequate that, as far as I know, it is not actively advocated by any living
philosopher or teacher as an effective or comprehensive system of thought or "world view." It
is a view of reality by default, a view that results from the inadequacy of old beliefs which
have been supplanted by the supremacy of science, technology and the pursuit of materialistic

How did things get this way? In part because in our pluralistic society people disagree about
more abstract subjects like politics and religion but can agree on more concrete things like
"this is a rock" or the basic teachings of the natural sciences. Materialism reduces human
discourse to the lowest common denominator. The phrase "get real" usually means "stop
dwelling on irrelevant abstractions or fantasies and get down to the practical world of
material reality." Materialism is simple and practical, and in that sense, it can be very
appealing and functional.

But we pay a tremendous price for this oversimplifying. Materialism is so incomplete it can
easily lead to disillusionment and despair. The pursuit of material pleasure can bring about an
unhealthy emphasis on money, property, and "whatever feels good" – even to the point of
drug addiction and crime, a particular risk for those who lack material possessions and resent
those who have them.

Although it was satirical, the popular entertainer Madonna's song in the late 1980's about
being "a material girl in a material world" aptly captured the attitude of millions of people.
Life in this material world for many people boils down to "get yours while you can."
Unfortunately so many people are unable to "get theirs" that life does not seem to be getting
any better for them. And our materialistic view of reality, so deeply embedded in Western-
World culture and imparted into the minds of each new generation, is partly responsible for
the problem.

You almost cannot escape succumbing to the domination of materialism as you go about your
workaday life. The materialistic view of reality underlies the whole world of public
education, business and commerce, including the mass media. It’s everywhere. And "to get
along, you've got to go along."

Other Views of Reality

It is not the purpose of this book to discuss all the other views of reality. At one extreme, for
example, is solipsism, the belief that only one’s self is real – everything else is subjective. At
another extreme is mysticism, which seeks transcendent union with divine ultimate reality. If
you would like to learn more about different views of reality, you’ll need to consult an
introduction to philosophy.
My purpose here is not to explain many alternate views of reality but to make a strong case
for a new view of reality to take the place of materialism. Our world today needs a view of
reality that is sufficient for the complexities of the coming 21st Century. We need to develop
and adopt a new understanding that has a place for religious faith and for science, for
technology and love, for the appreciation of all the enduring accomplishments of human life.
Such an understanding must be not only comprehensive but also simple enough for average
people to grasp, at least for those who care to learn more.

Introducing The System Of Ordergonics

In this book, I will introduce you to the system of Ordergonics, based on the concept that
order (ordo) and energy (ergon) are equally real and constitute everything in our world of
sensory experience. Ordergonics constitutes a new framework for also understanding the
reality of God. Order, energy and God are the "ultimate realities" that constitute everything
that exists in the universe.

The mistake which people have made for centuries is to think of order as a property of the
material world, like redness or coldness. We have learned that redness or coldness don’t
actually exist outside of our minds, but instead there is an external reality that includes
electromagnetic energy at various wave lengths and temperatures. Likewise, we may think
that some arrangement or organization that we see is orderly and that it, too, has no existence
outside of our minds. But there is an external reality that includes order – an ultimate reality
in which order is primordial, we might say.

By order I do not mean anything radically different from what the Romans meant 2500 years
ago when they used the word ordo to mean row, order or arrangement. But I also
emphatically do not mean order in the sense of rigidity or inflexibility. Ultimate order is very
diverse, manifesting itself in many different ways, just as energy is manifest in many ways.
The laws of nature, mathematics, probability, chance, the forces that bind atoms together,
space, time, patterns, equilibrium, information, rules, the genetic code, knowledge, logic,
music, dance, society, communication, history, organization, the Ten Commandments,
Creation – all these and many more are forms or manifestations of the reality of order.

Once you understand the reality of order in all its rich complexity yet underlying simplicity,
many of life’s "mysteries" will become clear to you. You will truly understand the meaning
of life. There is one catch: You’ll have to read most of this book and really think about what
it is saying to "get it." You may have to read it several times if you want to permanently
adjust your understanding of reality. There are some surprising twists and discoveries as one
works up the "chain" of order from the level of atomic particles through human civilization
and on to the realities of religious faith.

It is also extremely difficult to change your view of reality because it tends to be buried
below the surface like the roots of a giant tree. One book can open your mind to new
possibilities, but you must think through these possibilities in detail, investing a substantial
amount of time and effort.



Ancient Views of Reality

Throughout most of history, people’s views of reality were primitive and changed slowly.
Ancient records indicate that for thousands of years people believed the world consisted not
only of material objects and living creatures but also all sorts of spirits, gods or powers.

In primitive hunting societies, much emphasis was focused on the animals being hunted and
the hunting rituals, techniques and bravery, and on the gods or spirits who were believed to
control the success of the hunt. In primitive agricultural societies, the sun and other natural
forces were studied with some expertise, but also with the belief that worshiping or appeasing
the gods could help ensure successful crops. Some of the world's oldest writings, fragments
from ancient Egypt more than 4500 years old, contain expressions of practical experience and
knowledge along with worship of deities. The Egyptians and many other early peoples
believed that their rulers were either part gods or empowered to rule by divine right.

The Bible tells us that the ancient Hebrews came to believe that their God ("Yahweh") was
the only true God, the creator and ruler of everything, who made a covenant with them – "I
will be your God and you will be my people." Yet the primitive worldview of the earliest
Hebrews projected certain human qualities on this God, often perceiving him as a vengeful
tyrant who slew his enemies and who demanded animal sacrifices and rites of circumcision.

We can only imagine what life was like thousands of years ago, to have thought processes
limited by a complete lack of knowledge of the findings of modern science and the insights of
modern faith. Throughout the ancient world, even the best early thinkers were inevitably
bound and limited by views of reality learned from their cultures and myths, from family and
tribe, from formal and informal education.

At the height of ancient Greek civilization, Plato, Aristotle and their fellow philosophers
developed concepts of reality that have endured as monumental achievements of the human
mind. Plato believed that the key to ultimate reality and truth was the eternal Forms or Ideas
which we mortals can only see as shadows cast by the light of truth.

Aristotle believed in the doctrine of the causes as the keys to understanding motion,
motivation, and why things are as they are. Plato, Aristotle and other Greek philosophers
explored rigorously many of life's ultimate questions, and some of their insights are still valid
today. However, the ancient Greeks lacked scientific methodology, and many were
superstitious about the powers of the gods of Mount Olympus.

The early Christians had a profound impact on the civilized world that continues today. As
Christianity spread, even the once-pagan "Holy Roman Empire" became officially Christian.
Nevertheless many Romans continued to practice their pleasure-seeking ways until their
corrupt society collapsed before the barbarian invasions.

After the fall of Greece and Rome, known today as the Dark Ages, the teachings of Plato and
Aristotle were known only to a learned few. Mathematics, including algebra, was
substantially advanced not in Europe but in the Mideast, and Arabian scholars helped to
shelter the works of the Greek philosophers from oblivion, later reintroducing their writings
to the West during the time of the Crusades. Meanwhile the life of the common person was
one of daily toil and struggle, with reality an all-too-difficult effort to survive amidst
ignorance, disease and poverty.
The Dawn Of Science

During and after the Dark Ages, the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church held substantial
power over Western society and thought. Under the influence of the writings and teachings of
Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Ages, Aristotelian thought became intertwined and
confused with Christian doctrine in the beliefs of the Catholic clergy. One of these
Aristotelian tenets was that the earth is the center of the solar system and the universe. This
belief, strongly upheld by the Catholic Church, was to cause great difficulty for two men who
are generally credited as being the fathers of modern science: Copernicus and Galileo.

In the 16th Century the Polish astronomer Copernicus discovered through his observations
and calculations that the earth is not the center of the universe, but instead the earth revolves
around the sun. The views of Copernicus and his defender Galileo were attacked by the
Roman Church because their claims conflicted with the clergy’s Aristotelian view of reality,
although Galileo continued to profess that his views did not conflict with biblical scripture.
He was accused and tried by the Roman Inquisition, which found him guilty and forced him
to publicly recant his claims. Nevertheless his previous writings, widely published, continued
to influence the rise of early science. About the time of Galileo, Francis Bacon refined the
scientific method of objective (material) observation, which also was to have a profound
effect on views of reality in Western civilization.

Faith In An Orderly World

Alfred North Whitehead, in a widely quoted passage, noted that early scientists held

"... the inexpugnable belief that every detailed occurrence can be correlated with its
antecedents in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying general principles. Without this
belief the incredible labours of scientists would be without hope. It is this instinctive
conviction, vividly poised before the imagination, which is the motive power of research: that
there is a secret, a secret which can be unveiled. How has this conviction been so vividly
implanted in the European mind?

"When we compare this tone of thought in Europe with the attitude of other civilizations
when left to themselves, there seems but one source for its origin. It must come from the
medieval insistence on the rationality of God, conceived as with the personal energy of
Jehovah and with the rationality of a Greek philosopher. Every detail was supervised and
ordered: the search into nature could only result in the vindication of the faith in rationality.
Remember that I am not talking of the explicit beliefs of a few individuals. What I mean is
the impress on the European mind arising from the unquestioned faith of centuries. By this I
mean the instinctive tone of thought and not a mere creed of words."

In other words, this belief in an orderly, rational world which was created by God (and
interpreted by Greek philosophy) was deeply embedded in the view of reality held by early
scientists and other educated people. This idea reached an important milestone in the 17th
Century with the publication of one of the most remarkable achievements of the human mind,
Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton.

Newton's Lawful Mechanical Universe

The esteem in which Newton was held by his contemporaries, and the impact he had on their
view of reality, is suggested by an epitaph proposed by Alexander Pope while Newton was
still alive:

"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night;

God said, let Newton be! and all was light."

One of Newton's great achievements was to explain through his laws and principles the
dynamics of matter in motion within a system (known therefore as a dynamic system, about
which more will be said in later chapters). The state of each body of matter in a system (any
system from a machine to the solar system) could be described in terms of its position, its
velocity and its acceleration. By knowing these factors, Newton claimed, one could predict
the future positions and velocities of every body in the system.

Newton's first law described what had actually been discovered by Galileo concerning
inertia: "Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line,
unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it." This and other laws
explained the gravitational attraction of the earth for the moon, the moon for the earth, the
planets around the sun, and the motions of all other observable heavenly bodies with
remarkable clarity.

While these laws (which Newton and others considered God’s laws) seem obvious now,
especially to anyone who has studied introductory physics, they were truly revolutionary
when first announced. In their elegant simplicity, they compelled scientists and scholars at
last to abandon Aristotle's more complex concept of multiple causes of motion. They
propelled the English-speaking world into a new view of reality that endured for centuries.
Newton's theories of gravity and motion were loosely adapted by others to affect other
aspects not only of science but also of English society in that era. For example, the British
monarchy was thought of and justified as a being patterned after the solar system, with the
King as its center and loyal subjects rotating around him.

What was so remarkable about Newton's theory of universal gravity was that it claimed that
every body of matter, from the sun and planets to atomic particles, is affected, and attracted
to other bodies, by the force of gravity.

Newtonian physics perpetrated a view of reality in which everything in the universe could be
understood as resulting from orderly laws. Once the positions and forces at work on any
bodies were known, it was thought possible not only to predict their future positions and
motion but also to know their past with equal certainty.

The Mechanical View of The Universe Begins To Weaken

Even in Newton's era, some scientists refused to accept his theories. They considered the
notion of this impersonal machine of a universe, like an immense clock, to be repugnant – it
seemed to have no place for man's soul or a loving God. But Newton's theories gained in
acceptance and ruled the scientific community for more than 200 years. In fact, they are still
highly useful in explaining precisely many of the phenomena of motion and gravity
commonly observed.
The first major challenge to the mechanical system of Newton came from an area most of us
now take for granted -- the discovery of electricity. The effects we now know as static
electricity had been known for a long time, without anyone clearly understanding the causes.
Early experimenters learned that if one rubbed an amber rod with cloth, the rod would attract
small pieces of paper. Further studies found that some electric charges attract and other
charges repel – an apparent contradiction to the force of gravity, by which bodies are only
attracted to one another. It was first thought that electricity was a fluid somehow flowing
within and between solid bodies – that is, experimenters were still looking for mechanical
(Newtonian) explanations.

When Volta invented his Voltaic battery, the motion of a magnetized needle in an electric
field further undermined the Newtonian theory of force acting in the direction of motion.
Maxwell was later able to develop theories and mathematical formulas to describe what he
decided are electromagnetic fields created both by magnetized objects and by the flow of
electric current. The discovery of these fields, which do not operate according to the laws of
gravity, was another major milestone in the evolution of science and required another shift in
the perception of reality among learned people.3

Einstein And Relativity

The mechanical view of reality was further undermined by the work of Albert Einstein and
other German physicists in the early 20th Century. Einstein demonstrated, primarily by
mathematics, that matter and energy are virtually interchangeable, with his famous formula,
E=mc2. This equation, which unlocked the power of nuclear energy and atomic bombs, may
also be written m=E/c2. In other words, mass is really energy "slowed down" by the speed of
light (186,000 miles or 300,000 kilometers per second) squared. Thus all matter in the
universe is convertible into (and from) energy.

Einstein also showed that time and distance in space are relative to one another in a space-
time continuum. He claimed that time is a fourth dimension, in addition to the three
dimensions of space we normally think of. (Some physicists have shown through advanced
mathematics that there could be as many as a dozen dimensions.)

The Uncertainty Principle

The crowning blow to the certainty of the mechanical view of reality came from quantum
mechanics and Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. The physicist Max Planck had
developed quantum theory on the basis that motion and forces throughout the universe
change, not smoothly as one might expect, but in very small steps which vary by a fixed
amount, which came to be called "Planck's Constant."

Planck was mainly concerned with explaining that radiant energy, in forms such as light and
X-rays, is emitted not in just any amount but in specific bundles of energy known as quanta.
The higher the frequency of the energy waves, the greater the amount of energy radiated –
but always varying in multiples of Planck's Constant.

Werner Heisenberg reasoned that, if a quantum is indeed the smallest amount of energy
possible, then it is impossible to accurately measure at the same moment both the motion and
location of moving subatomic particles such as electrons. This is because the only way to
detect their motion or location is with light or some other sort of energy, which even as one
quantum would have enough impact to deflect the tiny particle from its path. In other words,
at the smallest points of matter, certain prediction of future motion or location is impossible.

No More Perfect Prediction

The Uncertainty Principle, as this concept became known, ended forever the theory that the
universe is so orderly one could predict all future events or know all past events by knowing
the location and velocity of all present objects, as Newtonian dynamics had claimed.

Quantum mechanics claims that there is no single predictable outcome of any situation.
Instead, many outcomes are possible, some more likely than others, based on the mathematics
of probability. This injection of randomness into science was intolerable even to Albert
Einstein, who is reported to have said, "I do not believe God plays dice with the universe."
Indeed, in its proper place, the Uncertainty Principle is actually only a statement of the limits
of measurement and prediction at the subatomic level. It in no way undermines Newton’s
laws at larger levels of matter, such as cannon balls, moving vehicles or the planets. But
many people have taken this very limited principle and applied it to their understanding of
ultimate reality and the nature of the universe. Just because something is true at a very low
level of structure or order does not make it equally applicable at higher levels of structure or
order, as we will see below.

Infinite Or Finite Universe?

As quantum mechanics disturbed old notions of certain predictability, other discoveries of the
early 20th Century brought an end to the Newtonian concept of an infinite universe. When
Newton and his contemporary scientists looked through their telescopes, they saw stars and
galaxies to the limit of their vision. Philosopher Immanuel Kant developed a complex theory
of the cosmos ("cosmology") that provided further support to Newton's claims and increased
their widespread acceptance in the view of reality held by educated people.

Astrophysicist Hugh Ross writes that in the late 1800s Johann Friedrich Zollner and others
calculated that if the universe were indeed infinite, then "at any point within the universe the
gravitational potential would be infinite – a conclusion at odds with all observations."

After Einstein's theory of relativity was introduced in the early 1900s, and proved to be
accurate in several widely heralded experiments, it was further calculated that the universe
was finite, expanding over time, and decreasing in its rate of expansion. In other words, Ross
notes, "the universe is exploding outward from a point. In fact, through the equations of
general relativity, we can trace the 'explosion' backward to its origin, an instant when the
entire physical universe burst forth from a single point of infinite density" . Physicists call
that instant of infinite density the singularity. Others call it the beginning of creation.

Ironically, Einstein at first refused to believe that his own formulas pointed to a moment of
creation. Instead he invented a "cosmological constant" (a fudge factor) to offset the
expansion calculations and support a concept of a static universe. But he later called the
cosmological constant "the biggest mistake of my life."

Many other scientists have resisted the idea of the singularity, popularly called the "Big
Bang." Some have postulated that the universe expands, then contracts, then expands again
over infinite time. More recently an "inflation" theory has suggested that the universe is more
like the surface of a balloon, constantly expanding, not from an exploding core, but without
boundaries. (Similarly, you could travel forever on the surface of a sphere the size of our
planet earth and never reach a beginning or an end of the surface.)

The Anthropic Principle

Contemporary writings indicate that most physicists believe that these alternative theories
have serious flaws, and that the "Big Bang" theory is most consistent with astrophysical
evidence. The universe, according to several calculations, is approximately 16 billion years
old. There was indeed a single point at which matter-energy and space-time began. And the
more that is known about the universe as a whole, the more it appears that just the slightest
change in its parameters would have made life, especially human life, impossible, as we will
detail later. The result is what some physicists call the "anthropic principle." This principle
acknowledges the enormous evidence that the universe was created or "evolved" in order to
support human life. But it also claims that this is actually "20-20 hindsight." In other words,
if the universe had not evolved exactly as it did, we wouldn’t be here to marvel about it!

The highly abstract and mathematical nature of advanced physics makes it difficult for most
people to grasp, compared with the simpler mechanical views of Newton. It is probably safe
to say that even the "Big Bang" theory and the anthropic principle of contemporary physics
have not had significant impact on most people’s views of reality. Even books like Stephen
Hawking's A Brief History Of Time , which was for some months a best-seller, has probably
not changed anyone's view of reality. Thi is in part because Hawking generally espouses a
learned version of scientific materialism, that is, nothing new as a paradigm of reality.

In our next chapter we will look more deeply at some of the underlying assumptions of
physics and scientific materialism as we further develop our case for a new view of reality. In
case you have become confused, please understand that I have in this chapter simply been
reporting what is commonly considered to be aspects of the history of science. It would have
been laborious and distracting to say over and over, "This scientist claims this, but it may not
be accurate." The great majority of information in this chapter was extracted from other
sources and simply assembled here to provide a context for the more original thoughts which

before your view of reality can begin to change.



Physics’ View Of Reality

One may talk about ultimate reality from many perspectives, depending on one's point of
view and beliefs. In Chapter 2 we explored how the findings of modern science, especially
modern physics, superseded the mechanical worldview of Newton and his followers. Of all
the sciences, physics has devoted the most effort to understanding the universe and
developing descriptive models of it.

Physics (from the Greek word physis, meaning nature) is defined in dictionaries as the
science that deals with matter, energy, motion, force, sound, electricity and the laws
governing these natural phenomena. It is very important to keep in mind that modern physics
looks at only a small slice of reality. Some purists believe that physics should confine itself
only to those phenomena of nature which can be described with mathematical formulas.
Whether or not we are that restrictive, we must note than many aspects of reality cannot
appropriately be examined by physics.

The phenomenon of life, to say nothing of its wonders such as love and courage and justice
and freedom, is not amenable to examination by physics except in terms of matter, energy,
motion, force and natural laws. Religious faith and God are meaningless in the narrow circle
of physics. Yet because physicists seem to "know so much about the universe," their
authoritative writings about reality and other truth-claims have had enormous impact on
Western Civilization’s views of reality, especially in the 20th Century. Physicists when
writing books also slip on occasion from physics into philosophy, without warning the reader
and, in some cases, with erroneous or misleading consequences.

Scientific Theory And Models

One of the most popular books about physics in recent years was Stephen Hawking's A Brief
History Of Time. That it was so popular says much about the public's fascination with
understanding our vast universe, and we can draw some insights from its contents.

"In order to talk about the nature of the universe and to discuss questions such as whether it
has a beginning or an end, you have to be clear about what scientific theory is," Hawking
says . "I shall take the simple-minded view that a theory is just a model of the universe, or a
restricted part of it, and a set of rules that relate quantities in the model to observations we
make. It exists only in our minds and does not have any reality (whatever that might mean).
A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large
class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and
it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations." He cites as an
example Newton's theory of gravity, which as we saw in Chapter 2, "predicts the motions of
the sun, the moon, and the planets to a high degree of accuracy."

But as Hawking notes, "Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only
a hypothesis: you can never prove it. . . . The eventual goal of science is to provide a single
theory that describes the whole universe. However, the approach most scientists [Author’s
note: more precisely, physicists] actually follow is to separate the problem into two parts.
First, there are the laws that tell us how the universe changes with time. (If we know what the
universe is like at any one time, these physical laws tell us how it will look at any later time.)
Second, there is the question of the initial state of the universe. Some people feel that science
should be concerned only with the first part; they regard the question of the initial situation as
a matter for metaphysics or religion. They would say that God, being omnipotent, could have
started the universe off any way he wanted. That may be so, but in that case he also could
have made it develop in a completely arbitrary way. Yet it appears that he chose to make it
evolve in a very regular way according to certain laws. It therefore seems equally reasonable
to suppose that there are also laws governing the initial state."
Sliding From Physics Into Metaphysics

In the passage above, Hawking reveals important points about contemporary physics' view of
the universe and of reality, as well as his own personal beliefs. For the physicist as physicist,
whatever his beliefs as a person might be, the physics-view of the universe can only be
regarded as a theory. Yet certain theories which appear to be always reliable in predicting
"how the universe changes with time" are called laws, without stopping to question how there
can be laws or where they came from.

Hawking, one of the most brilliant Nobel prize-winning scientists since Einstein, also admits
that he believes "it appears that he [God] chose to make it [the universe] evolve in a very
regular way according to certain laws." This observation cannot be made within the confines
of physics. Here is a good example of the physicist sliding beyond his expertise as a physicist
and making a claim suitable for metaphysics, some other branch of philosophy, or religion.
This is because "God" and "laws" are not observable with the senses. In fact, the "evolution"
of the universe is not objectively observable either. These are assumptions, theories or beliefs
that go beyond physics – Aristotle's term for this kind of discourse, "metaphysics," would be
more appropriate.

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that explores the nature and existence of reality at its
ultimate level, dealing with characteristics that apply throughout the entire universe.
Metaphysics is thus an appropriate context in which to discuss ultimate reality. Although
there is much more we can say about features of the universe besides ultimate reality, in these
next few chapters that is what we will be dealing with: the nature of reality at its ultimate

Stephen Hawking is perfectly free to speak in terms of metaphysics. His whole professional
life has been on the edge of cosmology, thinking about what makes the universe tick. And as
a brilliant physicist, he is no doubt a more careful thinker than most of us. But when he goes
from speaking scientifically as a physicist, with his white lab coat on as it were, to speaking
philosophically about metaphysics, it is all too easy for the reader to follow along gullibly,
accepting what Hawking says as the truth. But keep in mind that what he says as far as
metaphysics is concerned is highly arbitrary and needs to be approached with a great deal of
caution. Truth in physics, which must be judged by the standards of scientific method and
mathematics, and truth in metaphysics, which is judged by broader philosophical standards,
are substantially different. Since I do not have Dr. Hawking's aura of credibility, I am going
to try to persuade you with clear reason of a different point of view, a different view of
ultimate reality.

Covertly Clinging To Old Beliefs

It seems that Whitehead's observation about scientists still holds. That is, physicists and other
scientists must believe in an orderly universe, and overtly or covertly in a Creator, in order to
carry on their science with any hope at all that what they are doing is worthwhile. If the
universe is not orderly and ultimately understandable, then science is a folly, with no more
claim to truth than fiction-writing.

But now, as opposed to Newton's era, it is not fashionable for physicists to speak too openly
about God. They can allude to Him, somewhat tongue-in-cheek as Hawking does above, but
they must keep Him in his place. It is all right to believe in an orderly universe, and even to
admit the possibility that God or some other supreme being created the universe, but a
physicist who claimed in a professional meeting or paper that some scientific phenomenon
was an act of God or caused by God would probably be laughed at by his colleagues. In other
words, modern physicists are playing the same game Newton played, figuring out what
makes the universe tick, but they have one change in the rules – they cannot speak seriously
about God while they're speaking seriously about physics!

This is most unfortunate and one of the primary reasons why the scientific-materialistic
worldview holds our civilization in such a powerful grip, in much the same way that the
Roman Catholic Church dictated acceptable thought and expression in Galileo's era.

Cutting Out God-Talk

After discussing the Big Bang and other theories of the beginning of the universe, Hawking
acknowledges, "We could still imagine that there is a set of laws that determines events
completely for some supernatural being, who could observe the present state of the universe
without disturbing it. However, such models of the universe are not of much interest to us
ordinary mortals. It seems better to employ the principle of economy known as Occam's razor
and cut out all the features of the theory that cannot be observed."

"Not of much interest to us ordinary mortals" is Hawking’s way of stating, with all due
respect to the man's unquestionable brilliance, that "this is not of much interest to me and
others who agree with me." But what is the effect on the unsuspecting reader? To be taken in
by this put-down, perhaps, as we chalk up one more point on the scoreboard for scientific
materialism. As we shall see, there is an alternative point of view, an alternative view of
reality, that takes both physics and God, science and religion, equally seriously.

Hawking acknowledges that it may be possible for God or some other supernatural being to
know the future. But science cannot accept that possibility because science is limited to that
which can be observed by our senses and instruments. This does not mean that non-scientists
are limited in their beliefs to what can be observed, but again, what science says is so often
accepted as final truth for all circumstances.

It doesn't have to be that way. Let us strike a blow against scientific materialism, the
physicist’s picture of the universe and reality, by challenging something all physicists seem to
hold dear: belief in natural law. In so doing, I have no intention of challenging the value of
physics in our society. On the contrary, I believe it has made and continues to make an
enormous contribution to the advance of civilization. I once wanted to be a physicist myself. I
have enormous respect for Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Max
Planck and many other great physicists. The problem is this: Physics as physics deals with
only a limited segment of reality and becomes very inadequate when used to explain ultimate
reality. A good example of this concerns the concept of natural law.

What Is A Law Of Physics?

A law in physics is a statement of how natural phenomena occur with a high degree of
probability and predictability. Newton's laws of motion are a good example. In a future
chapter, you will read about the laws of thermodynamics. A law supposedly applies to a
given set of phenomena virtually 100 percent of the time. Any observations which do not fit
the law are considered an anomaly – they are set aside as an unexplained quirk in the data.
Finally, if new evidence becomes overwhelming, and a new law can be formulated which
takes into account all observed phenomena including the "quirks," then old laws may be
replaced with new ones. As we have seen, Einstein, Heisenberg and others mounted so much
contrary evidence, all backed with the precise mathematics of advanced physics, that
Newton's laws were finally seen as limited to a certain class of phenomena, the motion of
ordinary objects at ordinary speeds, and not applicable to subatomic or near-light-speed

But where do laws come from, how do they exist? You can't see laws with your senses or
detect them with instruments. So technically, the reality or true existence of laws lies outside
the bounds of physics or any other science.

Now if you're trained in science, you're probably thinking, "Wait a minute here. Physics does
not make metaphysical claims, granted, but a law is simply a theory or rule that is considered
to apply with a high degree of probability to a certain class of phenomena. A theory is
accepted as law when it applies or fits the data in every observed instance. If another theory is
shown to work better, the old law-theory is abandoned."

If you're thinking that, I'm not getting through to you. My question is, How are laws possible?
Why is it that you can perform the same experiment over and over and get the same results?
Why is it that many laws can be expressed in terms of precise mathematics? And how is
mathematics possible?

There is only one answer to these questions: "Because the universe is orderly." As Alfred
North Whitehead and others have said, if scientists didn't believe this, they couldn't do their
jobs. If the same experiment produced different results every time, if one set of numbers fit
the data one day and another very different set of numbers fit the same data the next, if the
universe were so obtuse that it never yielded up its secrets, there would be no scientists today,
at least no sane or satisfied ones. It would be as hopeless as the alchemist's dream of turning
lead into gold.

Laws Of Nature?

Some scientists have claimed that laws are in nature, hence the term "natural law." Nature is
defined in Webster's Dictionary as "the material world, esp. as surrounding man and existing
independently of his activities" and as "the universe, with all its phenomena." In other words,
if you take everything in the universe that exists independently of human beings, what you
are left with is "nature." (The careful reader will realize that this is a metaphysical claim.)
Laws are out there, supposedly, in "nature," waiting to be discovered – BUT – they are not
according to this definition products of mankind. (For example, a man-made law would be,
"It is illegal to park in front of a fire hydrant.")

Other thinkers believe laws are all products of the human mind. Hawking implied such a
claim when he said above, "a theory is just a model of the universe, or a restricted part of it, a
set of rules that relate quantities in the model to observations we make. It exists only in our
minds and does not have any reality (whatever that might mean)."

The Three Options

When we ask, "How can a law exist?" or "How can a law be real?" there are only three
possible answers:

(1) Laws exist as physical quantities such as matter and energy in space-time.

(2) Laws have no physical existence – they exist only in our minds and have no reality.

(3) Laws are real but exist as something besides matter and energy in space-time.

The problem with option #1 is, if laws existed as physical quantities, they could be measured
in some way, either directly or with instruments. Of course a law written on paper or etched
in stone exists as physical reality, but the symbols in which it is transcribed have nothing
whatever to do with its law-fulness. You can write anything on paper or in stone – that
doesn't make it true or accurate.

The problem with option #2, which is probably the one most widely held by contemporary
physicists, is that if laws exist only in our minds, how can they possibly control phenomena?
Can we think a thought like "E=mc2" and – bingo! – it becomes true? Suppose we wake up
one morning and say, "Naah, today I'm going to think E=mc4. Gosh, will those guys running
nuclear reactors have a wild and crazy day!"

Again the conscientious scientist objects: "Quit trying to confuse the reader. Physical
phenomena exist in nature. Laws exist in our minds. Laws are only attempts to use language
to accurately describe what is observed in nature." If that is what you are thinking, you still
don't get it.

Granted, the words or symbols which we use for laws, mathematics and other forms of
abstract human thought are in our minds, and as such have a certain arbitrary quality. We
could for instance imagine that in some foreign language E=mc2 is translated *#%$@ – the
meaning would be the same, just a different language.

But how are phenomena lawful? Where in those whirling masses of atomic particles and
flashes of electromagnetic radiation do laws exist? Where does the order which makes certain
events predictable, certain laws widely applicable, exist? Where does the law hit the matter,
as in, where does the rubber hit the road? Is this order an illusion with no reality, is it
composed of matter and energy in space-time, or is it something else?

I sincerely and profoundly believe, of the three options above, that option #3 is most
plausible, because as you have seen, it is possible to shoot holes through option #1 and option

The "New" Reality: Order

I believe there is another dimension to reality besides matter and energy, space and time. I
believe order is real. Einstein has already demonstrated that all matter (mass) exists as a form
of energy. And so all reality is composed of only three things: order, energy and God.

There you have it: The most important thought in this whole book. And I will devote the rest
of these pages to attempting to persuade you to accept this one understanding as the basis of a
whole new view of reality, which I call Ordergonics, as a much more preferable, functional
and logical alternative to materialism or any other view of reality which claims to be viable

The Proof Of A New View Of Reality

In order to prove to you that Ordergonics’s claim is true, I have two alternatives:

• Deductive reasoning, which involves deriving valid conclusions from prior propositions
which are accepted as self-evidently true. The validity of conclusions in deductive reasoning
depends on following proper form, including obeying certain laws of logic. (The reality of the
laws of logic is very similar to the realities of the laws of physics.)

• Inductive reasoning, which involves building a case for a truth claim based on observed
facts. Whereas deductive logic allows drawing conclusions which are necessarily true, so
long as proper form is followed, inductive logic depends on probability, such as "there is a
50% chance of rain tomorrow." Generally inductive proof requires numerous examples of
relevant observed facts in order to be convincing. It is the fundamental principle of scientific
observation. In courts of law, prosecuting attorneys must use a great deal of relevant evidence
to prove to a jury "beyond a reasonable doubt" that an accused person is guilty as charged.
Although some deductive reasoning may be involved within the attorney’s argument, the
cumulative, convincing weight of the evidence is usually inductive.

Using Both Forms Of Proof

In this book, I will use both deductive and inductive reasoning in an effort to prove to you
that the primary claim of Ordergonics given above is true. Most of the time I will be
marshaling many different examples of the ultimate reality of order and energy, including
some very interesting and relevant insights from modern science and information theory, in
an effort to prove to you that order has a uniquely ultimate level of reality, on the same level
of energy. And once you get comfortable with accepting that something "invisible" is real,
you may also find it more comfortable to accept or advocate the claim that God is the third
great reality of the universe – if indeed you need such proof.

Other tests of a good theory which philosophers use include the test of internal consistency,
which means that different parts of a lengthy argument must not be in disagreement, and the
test of simplicity. This latter test, sometimes called the Law of Parsimony or Occam’s Razor,
was beautifully stated by Einstein: "Everything should be as simple as possible, but no
simpler." One great advantage of the system of Ordergonics is that it involves accepting the
reality of only three things. To use a little deductive reasoning here:

If everything were composed of one thing, everything would be the same.

Everything is not the same.

Therefore everything is not composed of one thing.

The mystic’s claim, "All things are one," must be understood to mean, "All things have
something in common," as indeed they do—they have order and energy in common. If it is
understood to mean, "All things are one thing," it would obviously be false.
It would be possible to make the claim, "Everything is composed of order and energy," and
leave God out of the picture entirely. Indeed, once I became aware of the difficulty of selling
a book that makes a controversial religious claim compared with selling a totally secular
book, I gave serious thought to leaving discussion of God to the final chapter. A book limited
to order and energy would be simpler and perhaps more widely acceptable. But I had to come
to terms with the fact that my concept of order is seriously impaired, if not meaningless,
without simultaneous realization that God makes the order, does the ordering.

Before moving level by level through existence, from subatomic particles to world
civilization, I would like to explain some of the fundamental claims of Ordergonics in terms
of the reality of energy, order and God.



A Widely Accepted Reality

Of the three components of Ordergonics, the reality of energy is certainly the most widely
accepted. Anyone who has studied modern science knows how essential the concept of
energy is to many different areas of science.

As we noted earlier, Einstein's formula E=mc2, so familiar to most educated people in the
world today, specifies the interchangeability of matter (actually mass) and energy. When a
relatively large quantity of mass is rapidly converted into energy, the result is usually a
nuclear explosion as with an atomic bomb, or when the conversion is slower and controlled,
the resulting heat energy can be converted into steam and electricity in a nuclear power plant.

Energy is a very common concept in everyday life. We hear people say, "You have a lot of
energy today" or "I just don't have the energy for that." We can sense our body's own energy
level. When we are tired, our energy feels low. When we've had lots of rest and are in good
physical shape, our energy feels higher.

Energy has a number of different meanings. Its root is the Greek word energeia meaning
activity. Its primary definition in Webster's is "the capacity for vigorous activity." In classical
physics, energy is commonly thought of as "the capacity to do work," especially the capacity
to move something or raise the heat of something.

Various Forms Of Energy

One form of energy is potential energy. The common example for this is water at a high
elevation which releases energy when it falls, and can be used to turn a waterwheel or
generate hydroelectric power.

Another form is thermal energy, which is related to heat. Electromagnetic energy is radiant
energy in the form of visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, radio waves, television waves, cosmic
rays and other frequencies.

Max Planck's formula e=hf, almost as famous and important as Einstein's E=mc2, states that
electromagnetic energy is equal to h multiplied by the frequency. h is the symbol for Planck's
constant, equal to the number 663 divided by 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, or as it is
commonly written, 663 X 10-25 erg sec. An erg second is the amount of energy needed to
raise a milligram of mass one centimeter in one second. That is doing work, but at a very
small level! Planck's constant applies not only to electromagnetic radiation but to the orbits of
electrons, the size of atomic particles – everything in the universe, since everything is
composed of energy. All physical entities vary in orderly steps.

The Conservation Of Energy

Energy as the capacity for vigorous activity has been around for thousands of years. But only
in the 19th Century did scientists begin to accept energy as a common umbrella term for a
phenomenon with many different ramifications. We noted in Chapter 2 that electricity was
the first undoing of Newtonian mechanics. It was also the first major clue of the all-pervasive
nature of energy.

As the recognition of energy became more widespread, various experimenters realized that
all different types of energy are interchangeable. Chemical energy could be converted
(through the Voltaic battery) into electric current which generated heat as well as a magnetic
field. Biochemical energy which causes a frog's leg to jump was seen as a form of electrical
energy. And so with one form of energy being converted into another, the principle of
conserving energy became apparent. And what emerged became known as the Law of
Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be
converted into other forms of energy.

Another way of looking at this is, because the entire universe and everything in it is made of
energy, energy has nowhere to go – it just becomes converted into another form.

I could go on at great length about the reality of energy, but I do not think that is necessary. If
you are sufficiently educated to be reading this book, you most likely accept the all-pervasive
nature of energy as a fundamental component of reality. That is nothing new.

What is new is the concept that order is just as real as energy. We introduced this
fundamental tenet of Ordergonics in the previous chapter. Now let us examine it in more



Order And Its Essence

Order is not just an attribute of existence, like redness or hardness or coldness. Order is the
stuff of existence. By "order" I do not mean anything esoteric or difficult to understand. I am
using order as it is defined in the dictionary (quoting Webster's Unabridged:)

"1. an authoritative direction or instruction; command; mandate....4. the disposition of things

following one after another, as in space, time, etc....5. a condition in which each thing is
properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious
arrangement....25. conformity or obedience to law or established authority...." Order is
derived from the Latin ordo, meaning "row, rank, regular arrangement."

It is interesting that, implicit in the meaning of the word order, is the idea that the regular
arrangements we encounter are the result of a command or instruction. We humans
instinctively seem to perceive that order is not accidental, that the greater the degree of
apparent order, the more likely that order was purposively caused by someone or something.

The Universality Of Order

The fact that there is so much order in nature, independent of our minds, is one of the most
profound aspects of all existence. The predictable motions of the planets which include the
earth’s rotation creating a 24-hour day; the laws of physics and other sciences; the benefits of
electricity and electromagnetism that undergird our modern civilization; the behavior of
plants and animals in the various seasons of the year; the miracle of life and of creating new
life through reproduction – everything that makes our world what it is, is a manifestation of

We human beings can also create certain types of order. We can arrange things in
alphabetical order. We can count and multiply and divide. We can command troops and
armies. We have connected every corner of the world with telephone and other
communications equipment. We elect the leaders of our government, who work with the
leaders of other nations in pursuit of world order. We use police to protect the public order.
We play sports, watch television, drive cars, work and relax all by some form of order. Our
entire existence, every aspect of it, depends on order.

Of course order is real. We all act as if we assume, consciously or unconsciously, that order is
real. It’s just that, up till now, order has been viewed by most people as a characteristic of
other things – how neatly they are arranged, how predictably they occur – and not as an
actual component of ultimate reality, on a level with energy.

To take another approach, think about the chair you're sitting in or the floor you’re standing
on or the bed you're lying on right now. What if it suddenly gave way, and you fell down
through the floor, down into the earth, and kept falling till you reached the earth's core? Your
chair and the earth are almost entirely empty space – so there’s bound to be plenty of room
for you to fall through them.

Or imagine coming home at the end of the day and finding your house gone. Vanished. Not
even an empty lot. No space between what used to be your neighbors' houses on the right or
left. Or suppose you are riding down the highway at a high rate of speed with no median
between the opposing lanes of traffic, and all of a sudden all the cars go out of control and
crash into each other.

Sound like nightmares or crazy thoughts? Only because the world is so incredibly orderly that
things like that don’t happen in reality. The universe is very orderly.

The Cumulative Nature Of Order

In the system of Ordergonics, order has some special aspects, in addition to its ultimate
reality. One of these is the cumulative nature of order, and this is the solution to what is one
of the oldest puzzles of philosophy.

The essence of the puzzle is this: If all physical things are composed of electrons, protons,
neutrons and other subatomic particles, how is intelligence possible?

Here we encounter the inquiring human mind observing itself at the subatomic level and
asking, "Where in this whirling profusion of particles is my ability to think? Where am I?
What am I made of?" Again, there are only a few possible answers to this:

1. Human beings are nothing but a large mass of subatomic particles; nothing else is real.

2. Human beings are composed of subatomic particles which contain a non-measurable

ingredient (variously considered to be information, knowledge or intelligence).

3. Human beings are composed of subatomic particles plus an additional reality that enables
all other higher levels of existence (this additional reality is what I call order).

The reason option 3 is more inclusive of all observed reality and experience is that it allows
plausibly for the constitution of many other things besides knowledge, intelligence or

The answer to the puzzle, and support for the concept of order, was developed earlier in this
century by gestalt theory. Gestalt, German for shape or form, refers to physical, biological, or
psychological phenomena structured in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of
the parts, or conversely, that the parts taken individually do not adequately equal the whole.
A simple example is a married couple. It is composed of a husband and a wife, two separate
human beings who have an invisible bond that enables them to function and to be recognized
as a couple, a small family. Of course somewhere there is a marriage license that makes that
bond legal, but when you see them out in public, they don’t carry the license on their sleeves.
What is this extra invisible something that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

Or take a much more minute example. On the left we have two atoms of hydrogen, each with
an extra neutron, constituting "heavy hydrogen" or deuterium. On the right we have one atom
of helium. The helium atom has exactly the same number of subatomic particles, but it is
inert – it will not burn. The hydrogen, by contrast, is extremely flammable. Furthermore, the
deuterium is the stuff of hydrogen bombs and the raging "fires" of the sun, the most intensely
explosive force ever created. Why can’t helium do that? Now, technically of course, when
two atoms of deuterium are combined under great pressure to form one atom of helium, a
certain amount of energy is released, and that energy has mass. But why do the atoms of
deuterium and helium behave so differently? Why indeed do all the elements, which are
made of "nothing but" the same subatomic particles, behave so differently?

In the system of Ordergonics, the answer is that difference results from the combination of
order and energy, not merely from the combination of matter and energy. Order is the
differentiator, energy is the stuff or substance which gets differentiated. Thus:

Subatomic particles plus order equal atoms.

Atoms plus order equal molecules.

Molecules plus order equal molecular chains.

Molecular chains plus order equal cells.

Cells plus order equal organisms and tissue.

Tissue plus order equal plants and animals.

The highest-ordered animals are humans.

Humans plus order are families and tribes.

Families and tribes plus order are communities.

Communities plus order are states or districts.

States or districts plus order are nations.

Nations plus order are world civilization.

Worlds ordered around a star are a solar system.

Stars and solar systems plus order make galaxies.

Galaxies plus order make the universe.

The universe and God plus order are everything that exists.

This is what I mean by the cumulative nature of order: As order accumulates along with
accumulating matter/energy, higher levels of existence are achieved or created. It is not the
mere accumulation of matter/energy that makes things different or that allows for ever-higher
levels of structure or existence. Work the hierarchy of existence backward and you can see
why I believe order is as real and necessary as energy.

Law And Order

As we saw in Chapter 3, a clear understanding of the so-called laws of nature or laws of

physics and other sciences requires an acceptance of the reality of order. A key component of
the system of Ordergonics is the claim that all laws of nature, that is, the aspects of the
universe which are independent of human beings, are real and are manifestations of order.
But not all order is expressed as laws. Order is a multi-faceted umbrella concept very much
like energy.

Natural order, the order which scientists study, is independent of human existence. It really
exists "out there" in nature, in the universe. If it did not, there would be no order where there
were no human minds to perceive it or conceive it. The laws of mechanical motion existed in
nature long before Isaac Newton discovered them. The formula E=mc2 and e=hf existed as
aspects of order long before Albert Einstein and Max Planck discovered them. Every day
scientists around the world are discovering new aspects of natural order. They are not making
it up. The order they are discovering is real and independent of human existence.

Even the brilliant Stephen Hawking, as we noted earlier, said of God and the universe, "it
appears that he chose to make it evolve in a very regular way according to certain laws. It
therefore seems equally reasonable to suppose that there are also laws governing the initial
state" of the universe. Hawking and other physicists believe that even in the first nanoseconds
in which the universe was formed, laws were at work determining the "evolution" of the
entire universe.

These laws were not "in the matter" or "in the energy" or "in the space" at the dawn of creation. Laws are not
properties of physical substances or empty space. Laws are properties of order. Order has controlled the
development of the universe since the dawn of time. Order is the instrument of God’s on-going creation.

Order And The Birth Of The Universe

Let’s go back in our minds to the first few moments at the birth of the universe. As best we
can understand, there was a great explosion called the "Big Bang" and all the matter and
energy in the universe exploded out from a central point. Ignoring for a moment how such an
explosion could have spontaneously occurred, scientists believe that in the beginning there
were subatomic particles and intense energy. Gradually these subatomic particles began to
form atoms.

Now wait a minute. Why would these particles form atoms? Why would electrons blasting
out of the center of the Big Bang alongside protons and neutrons begin circling protons and
neutrons? Why would protons and neutrons, moving apart at unthinkable speeds, clump
together and form atomic nuclei? When you have everything moving apart at tremendous
force, why should they bond together? All on their own, because of chance or "evolution"?
That strains credibility.

Something had to cause atoms to form. In fact, surely it is more reasonable to believe that in
the beginning there was nothing but order and energy. Order caused the atomic particles –
electrons, protons, neutrons and all the others – to form. Not just in random sizes, remember,
but precisely, in Planck’s Constant intervals.

Order And Space

Most of us were taught in school that the universe is composed of matter and energy in space
and time. Just as the question, "What are laws?" needs to be answered, so also does the
question, "What are space and time?"

We take both for granted so much that it is difficult to think objectively about them. We think
of space as the distance between things, measured in miles and kilometers, for instance. We
also think of what is called "outer space," the vast distances between planets and stars.
Distances in outer space are so great that they are often calculated in light-years. Light travels
100 trillion miles or 160 trillion kilometers in a year.

Science also teaches that the atom is composed mostly of empty space, with the nucleus
relatively a great distance away from the orbiting electrons. So what is space? Again, we
have a limited number of possibilities:

(1) Space is space, a distinct component of reality.

(2) Space is composed of energy

(3) Space is composed of order.

(4) Space is composed of order and energy.

(5) Space is not real.

If space were composed entirely of energy, the energy of space would certainly interfere with
the energy of matter and electromagnetic radiation. It would also have mass and thus be
detectable by instruments, but this is not the case.

Scientists used to think that space contained an "ether" which was an invisible medium for
the propagation of light and other electromagnetic radiation. Their reasoning was, if light is a
wave, it must have something to wave in, like waves in water. Again it was Albert Einstein
who demonstrated that the ether concept was totally superfluous – light waves move through
empty space, period.

From one point of view, we might say that there really is no such thing as empty space. In the
black "emptiness" of outer space, there is always some starlight or cosmic dust or something
that has mass, moving through. Space may get very sparse, but it is never completely
"empty." We speak of total vacuums inside vacuum tubes, but it is impossible to prove
(because of the Uncertainty Principle) and highly unlikely that man-made vacuum tubes do
not have a single atom of matter or a single wave of energy in them.

Given the five options listed above, the most plausible one is that space is composed of or an
aspect of universal order. After all, order means "regular arrangement" and what could be
more "arranged" than space? We speak of space being three-dimensional, which is highly
orderly. Some physicists have calculated that space may have more than a dozen dimensions.
Space is where things are arranged. The fact that they stay where they are, and don’t come
crashing in on each other (unless pulled by gravity), indicates a very high level of order in
space. The same order that makes laws what they are makes space what it is.

Order And Time

It should not be too difficult for you by now to think of time as a function of order. Many
books have been written about time, and it is a subject which is endlessly intriguing.
Sometimes time seems to rush at us from the future, stay with us for a fraction of a second in
the present, and then disappear into the past, gone forever. At other times, time seems to
move ever so slowly, second by second, especially when we are waiting for something and
are keenly aware of the waiting.

Yet for all its subjective variation, time is incredibly consistent. Although wound-up clocks
may not keep accurate time, most electric ones do, and we now take for granted the superb
accuracy of inexpensive digital watches whose intricate electronics would have been
inconceivable just a few decades ago.

Once again, our old friend Albert Einstein demonstrated that time is relative, not absolute.
According to this theories, the closer an object’s speed approaches the speed of light, the
more slowly its internal time progresses. For example, if you and a friend synchronized your
watches, and your friend left for a long journey at near-light speed, when he returned this
watch would be much behind yours and he would have aged less as well.

As with space, it is pointless to speak of time as some reality made of something besides
energy or order. Time, stripped to its bare essentials, is the uniform order of motion. Clocks
move the same and the planets spin dependably in their orbits and lights moves at a constant
speed all because of the orderliness of motion in our universe. If everything stopped, time
would stop. We may speak of the energy aspect of time in that all motion involves some
energy. But ultimately it is order that makes motion uniform and thus makes time consistent
— except at speeds near the speed of light, in which case the alterations of time are also
consistent according to precise mathematics.

Order and Difference

Even if you are following this line of thought, these few paragraphs are probably not
sufficient to convince you to perceive time, space and other dimensions of reality differently.
Understandings of reality are not easily changed. Throughout this whole book you will see at
every level of existence, from the simple quark to world civilization, that the relationship
between order and energy is key to understanding everything we encounter in life and the

Energy is the stuff or substance of existence, order is the medium of differentiation, and God
creates the differences. This reflects one of the oldest philosophical issues. Plato believed that
there were Ideal Forms that caused everything to be what it is. He suggested that these Forms
function like shapes which, illuminated by the light of Truth, cast imperfect shadow patterns
in our everyday world, like shadows on the wall of a cave cast by flickering firelight.

Aristotle believed in multiple causes, such as formal causes, efficient causes, and end cause
or entelechy—that make things what they are.

The problem is, if everything is made of just one thing, there can be no difference. A single
substance cannot differentiate itself. There must be clay, hands and wheels that shape the
clay, and God, the "potter" of us all. And the simplest solution to this problem is to have
everything made of just two things, the substance and the shaping force, energy and order,
with a Creator
making everything what it is. That is the simplicity of Ordergonics.

The Laws Of Order

Through studying order in many different ramifications, I have developed what I call the
Laws Of Order, which are really quite simple, as follows:

Law No. 1: The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This is because the whole contains
a higher degree of order, which is real, than the parts contain. (The reader is referred to
gestalt theory, discussed earlier.)

Law No. 2: The whole cannot be reduced to its parts without destroying it. This is the
converse of Law No 1, and acknowledges that even though the divided parts may have the
same amount of physical substance as the whole, if you destroy the whole you destroy its
order, and the parts when separated are not the same as the whole.

Law No. 3: An increase in order results in a higher level of reality. We find not only bigger
things but more complex things, capable of very different behavior or characteristics than the
simpler things. DNA can reproduce life forms, which are much more complex than atoms. A
married couple is a much greater reality than two people who are physically near each other,
and a family is a much greater reality than three people randomly assembled.

Order and Being

One of the more interesting applications of these laws concerns the concept of the self, what
it means to be a human being. Who are you? Are you nothing but a collection of molecules or
atoms, subatomic particles, matter and energy, mostly empty space? Where does the youness
of you reside? Where is your being? Is it inside your brain, where biochemical reactions flow
through neurons and ganglia? Is that all there is to you?

From the standpoint of Ordergonics, you are the sum total of all the order and energy within
your body. That order and energy exist as an organismic structure, an organization of organs,
bones and tissue with a central nervous system and a brain, and all the memories and
capacities represented by all the connections of all the millions of neural ganglia within your
brain and body. Order respects the vast complexity of human life. A human being is the
highest order of individual life, capable not only of moving about and reproducing itself, but
also of imagination, love, integrity, literature, art, self-sacrifice, mathematical computation,
athletic feats, the construction of skyscrapers, placing a man on the moon. . . and ever so
much more.

The concept of order in Ordergonics rescues the dignity of human being from the sterile
reductionism of scientific materialism. Scientific materialism says, "Nothing but."
Ordergonics says, "Everything and more."

I once heard a famous biologist explain mankind as an advanced vessel for reproduction, and
I will never forget his statement, "The purpose of life is the reproduction of the genome,"
which is a set of genes. Granted, the human body is a magnificent vehicle for reproducing
genomes. But this biologist committed the "nothing but" fallacy that ignores the greater
reality and order of the higher whole. From the standpoint of physics, we could say that a
human being is nothing but matter and energy in space and time. Chemists could call a
human a living vessel of biochemical reactions. If you only look at things through narrow
perspectives, you see only narrow slices of reality, not the whole.

Ordergonics looks at everything from the broadest possible perspective. The cumulative
nature of order allows for life at its richest complexity, life in all its fullness. Don’t settle for
anything less.

Order and Chaos

It is commonly thought that the opposite of order is chaos. But chaos is the appearance of a
lack of order. It is not real—it is a misperception. Take the example of chaos exhibited by a
child’s room after he or she has taken everything out of its container or place, broken a few
things along the way, dumped over the trash can, torn up the bed, and in general turned
everything upside down. The child’s parent, upon entering the room, may exclaim, "This
room is total chaos!"

But it isn’t. Everything is exactly as the child left it. The room actually has a high degree of
complex order, the result of the child’s high level of activity (applied energy). If the room
were really in chaos, we would have a scene like the one in the movie "Poltergeist." The bed
would be spinning in mid-air. Objects would be flying around randomly. Lights would flash
on and off. Things would break apart and go back together again. Parents and children would
be sucked into the vortex. And so on. That would be chaos. It does not exist outside of the

Another instance often called chaos occurs during an intense military battle. Guns are going
off everywhere. People are shooting each other. Dense smoke covers the battlefield. Voices
shout and scream. Officers have lost command of their troops. No one can tell friend from
foe. Total fear is mirrored on the combatants’ faces. It is a horrible spectacle. But it is not
chaos. Bullets and other moving objects follow the laws of physics. People are not suddenly
elevated off the ground unless explosives burst under them. Guns still fire. Wounds still
bleed. Injuries still hurt. Again, there is a very high level of complex order. Not chaos.

James Gleick in his popular book, "Chaos: Making A New Science," reports how scientists
are discovering order beneath and within many phenomena once thought chaotic. These
include the weather, wildlife populations, the motion of blood, turbulence in fluids, patterns
in nature which appear beautiful and bizarre, and much more. Chaos is an illusion due to the
limits of human perception, the inability to perceive complex order.

Order and Probability

Real order is not always fixed. This is the mechanical fallacy which is the legacy of Newton
and his followers. Real order is based on probability. Laws may represent close to 100
percent probability. But many other phenomena do not.

Order appears to be distributed according to a bell-shaped curve of random distribution. The

vertical axis against which this curve is plotted represents predictability. The horizontal axis
represents structural complexity. At low levels of complexity, where subatomic particles
exist, predictability is low. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is in effect. Uncertainty
remains low as we progress upwards through atoms and molecules, gasses and liquids.
When we reach solids, predictability zooms upward. Newton’s mechanical principles are in
effect. Gravity plays a major role. Heavy objects fall predictably. When solid objects like
billiard balls collide, they bounce off each other according to Newton’s laws. When an object
like a car crashes into a retaining wall, the car is crushed by its own momentum impacting the
inertia of the wall.

When solids shift into living organisms, however, predictability starts to fall again. It’s nearly
impossible to predict where a single-cell paramecium will swim over time. Move up to
animals and human beings, and you have higher unpredictability. Continue to whole
populations of people and nations, and you have very high unpredictability. Economics and
political science are inherently difficult (if not dismal) due to the unpredictability of their
subject matter.

But through all of this there is order — not mechanical order, but the order of probability.

Order and Patterns

One of the simplest and most interesting forms of order is the pattern. A pattern is typically a
recurrence of a phenomenon where some core aspects are repeated and others are not. A
china pattern, for example, is a design repeated on each plate, cup, saucer, bowl or other
implement — each one different, but with the continuity of the pattern. The word pattern is
derived from the Latin pater, meaning father, suggesting that the father-pattern is repeated in
the offspring.

Snowflakes all have a basic hexagonal pattern but each one is different The human face
usually has two eyes, a nose and a mouth, but it is incredible how many variations there are in
this simple pattern. Indeed patterns are abundant throughout nature, from markings on insects
to the leaves on trees, from beautiful sunsets to stormy clouds — nature is a symphony of

Patterns are the primary means by which order is perceptible. Again, this does not mean that
patterns exist solely in the mind — they really are "out there" in nature, independent of us,
waiting to be discovered. The first clue that a scientist is on to a new discovery of order is a
pattern in nature which is perceived. Detectives sifting through the evidence of crimes are
looking for patterns that will indicate what human behavior has occurred. Spoken words,
music and many achievements of the human mind and of civilization are all patterns. Patterns
are extremely significant in understanding order, and we will come back to them again and
again as we move through this book.

Order And Things

The greatest misperception of reality prevalent throughout our world is the belief that
"things" are real but order is not real. Order is like the invisible glue that holds everything
together. The belief that only material things, that is, things made of matter (or energy), are
real, results in a materialistic worldview that does not appreciate the reality of order. People
who succumb to materialism (and this includes our society’s practice of business and
government) tend to view other people as objects, not to appreciate the unique and awesome
order which every human being represents.
Order is very precious. The natural order which exists independently of us is an order to be
cherished and protected, not destroyed. Much of the order which we create is also precious —
music, art, information, worldwide communication systems, advanced medicine, space
shuttles, the United Nations. But not all human order is good. Hitler’s Third Reich comes to
mind as an example of evil order, manmade order gone wrong. This was the result of a highly
materialistic and distorted worldview which treated millions of human beings as objects to be
eradicated in gas chambers and ovens.

There is so much rich, complex and abundant order in the world and the universe that it
strongly indicates the existence of a creator of order, more specifically, of natural order.
Many of the world’s religions and cultures believe in a creator God, the topic of our next



God As Creator Of Order

The first important concept about God in the system of Ordergonics is the concept of God as
the creator of order. In Ordergonics, as in the Bible, order and creation are so interdependent
as to be almost synonymous. Order is the means of creation, and creation is the means of

The very first sentences of the book of Genesis read: "In the beginning God created the
heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface
of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters."

The expression of the earth as formless and empty suggests that the earth was without order.
The Bible says God's first act of creation was to bring order to nothingness by creating the
heavens and earth, and his second act was to bring order to the darkness by creating light.

I do not mean that we must take the book of Genesis literally, and readers who have serious
doubts about the reality of God will probably not find the Genesis account persuasive.
Nevertheless, it beautifully expresses the concept of increasing order which God brought to
his creation as he made all things.

Chance As The Absence of Cause

Against this biblical and philosophical concept is the more modern notion of evolution by
chance. Chance is defined by Webster's as "the absence of any cause or series of causes of
events as they actually happen that can be predicted, understood or controlled: often
personified or treated as a positive agency." This definition is significant in its emphasis on
not perceiving any causes which can be "predicted, understood or controlled." In the absence
of such understanding, one assumes no cause, hence chance. But suppose the reality of the
situation is not that there is no cause for certain "chance" events, but that the cause cannot be
perceived due to the limits of human understanding.

If one flips a coin in the air a hundred times, the chances are very strong that approximately
half the time the coin will land heads up, and half the time tails up. The more this is repeated,
the greater the probability approaches an even 50-50. Statisticians even refer to such
phenomena as "the laws of chance." But how can there be "laws of chance" when the very
meaning of "chance" is "without apparent cause"? The reader will see a strong parallel here
between the concept of chaos and the concept of chance. What is at work is not the lack of
cause or order, but the limits of human perception or precise understanding in the face of an
unpredictable phenomenon such as the repeated motion of a thumb flipping a coin into the

Increasing order, as observed in increasingly complex forms of life and as posited by Darwin
as the result of "evolution," does not result from chance or a lack of cause. As we will see
later, the odds against life forming by "chance," that is, without any cause, much less
"evolving" to the level of human life by chance, are so overwhelming that in all the universe's
16 billion years, chance could not come close to producing even a single-cell organism.
Darwin was woefully ignorant of the incredibly complex order of life.

I used to think of evolution as Darwin originally did, as God's way of creating ever-higher
levels of order of life. But it is more precise to say that evolution is only a theory based on
limited understanding and inadequate calculation. Again, we will delve into this more deeply
in future chapters. The point here is that the theory or belief that all advances of order are
caused, and do not occur by "chance," is a more plausible description of the phenomena of
reality than the theory of evolution. Through faith one may also reasonably believe that God
is the cause of all "natural" advances of order.

God, Nature and the Supernatural

In a previous chapter we described nature as existence independent of humanity. As post-

Newtonian science found more and more "natural" explanations for all phenomena, the
notion of God in nature became unfashionable, and science pushed God out of "nature."

To defend their beliefs, well-meaning theologians developed the idea of God as

"supernatural." Many people still believe in a "supernatural" God today. But unfortunately,
many others find this idea wholly unacceptable, and in rejecting the supernatural, they also
reject God. Supernatural means, to them, unreal.

However, the Bible does not speak of God as "supernatural." The Bible speaks of God as
real, as real as anything else in existence. In the system of Ordergonics, God is indeed real, as
real as anything else in existence.

There is only one reality, and that reality includes "nature." God is not a part of "nature" but
he is real, the creator of nature, who acts in nature as he acts also in human life.

Every law of physics, chemistry and biology, every discovery of science, all mathematics,
every orderly aspect of the "natural" universe is the result of God's creation of order. Order is
the medium through which God acts upon the matter and energy of the universe, and through
which he has acted since the dawn of time.

Our senses only detect matter and energy in "nature". But our mind perceives order in nature.
And our mind knows, inherently and intuitively, that this order is not accidental; this order
was caused or created. Mankind's hunger and passion for meaning in life, for the meaning of
human existence, is his hunger and passion for understanding order in all its dimensions, and
ultimately for the source of order, the Creator God. There is only one reality, of which nature
is a part. Order is the medium through which God has created and is continuing to create

Proving The Existence of God

Throughout the ages philosophers and theologians have attempted to prove the existence of
God. Some have relied on logic, some on human experience. The fact is, you cannot prove
something to someone who refuses to accept the bases of your proof. This means you cannot
prove the existence of God to someone unless they accept the possibility of the existence of a
Supreme Being, Creator or some other dimension of reality that necessarily leads, by logic or
other demonstration, to acceptance of the reality of God.

Although deductive (logical) proof of the existence of God may involve circular reasoning,
demonstrative or inductive proof of the existence of God is possible. For many believers, the
most compelling "proof" of the existence of God is the so-called Argument from Design. The
universe is so intricately designed, the argument goes, that it must have been created by a
Designer, namely God. It is inconceivable that so much complex design, from the structure of
the atoms to the vastness of the universe, could exist without a Supreme Intelligence working
out the infinite details of all that complexity.

In contemporary times, enormous scientific (inductive) evidence has accrued to indicate that
the universe did not evolve by chance but instead came into existence at the beginning of
time by forces which created perfect conditions for the eventual creation of human life on

The Scientific Evidence For A Creator God

The scientific evidence that the universe was created by a Supreme Intelligence in a manner
essential for human life has been summarized by astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross in his
fascinating book, "The Fingerprint of God." Some key points cited by Ross include:

1. "The gravitational coupling constant (the force of gravity) determines what kinds of stars
are possible in the universe." If the force of gravity were stronger, stars like our sun would be
more massive and would burn too rapidly and erratically to allow life on a nearby planet. If
the force were weaker, stars would not have the mass necessary to form the heavy elements
which are essential "for building planets or life itself."

2. "The strong nuclear force coupling constant holds together the particles in the nucleus of
an atom. If the strong nuclear force were slightly weaker, multi-proton nuclei would not hold
together. Hydrogen would be the only element in the universe." If the force were slightly
stronger, hydrogen would be rare or non-existent, and so would water and many other
chemicals essential to life.

3. "The weak nuclear force coupling constant affects the behavior of leptons. Leptons form a
whole class of elementary particles (e.g. neutrinos, electrons, and photons) that do not
participate in strong nuclear reactions" which we noted in #2 above. Again, if the weak
nuclear force were slightly weaker or stronger, the abundance of varied elements in the
universe, and therefore life, would not exist.
4. "The electromagnetic coupling constant binds electrons to protons in atoms." If this
constant varied only slightly, "the necessary molecules for life would not exist."

5. "The ratio of protons to electrons establishes the role of gravity relative to

electromagnetism. When the universe was less than a second old, anti-protons quickly
annihilated all their partner protons, and just a few protons were left. The same thing
happened with electrons and positrons (anti-electrons). Amazingly, the protons and electrons
that remained were equivalent in number to better than one part in 10 37 (1 followed by 37
zeros). Had the balance been any different, electromagnetism would have so dominated
gravity that galaxies, stars, and planets could never have formed."

6. "The ratio of electron to proton mass also determines the characteristics of the orbits of
electrons about nuclei. A proton is 1836 times more massive than an electron. If the electron
to proton mass ratio were much larger or smaller, again, the necessary molecules would not
form, and life would be impossible."

7. "The age of the universe governs what kind of stars exist." The universe is widely believed
by scientists to be about 16 billion years old. If it were any younger or older, stars would not
have developed in the variety in which they now exist, and "no environment suitable for life
would exist."

Ross lists many other factors, including:

• The expansion rate of the universe

• The entropy level of the universe (we will explain entropy in a subsequent chapter)

• The mass of the universe

• The uniformity of the universe

• The stability of the proton

• The fine structure constants

• The velocity of light

• The nuclear energy levels of certain atoms

• The distance between the stars

• The rate of luminosity increase for stars

• The design of the sun-earth-moon system

-- These and other factors of the incredible order of the universe point powerfully to the fact
that the universe was designed and created, at least in part, to support human life on earth.
(These factors do not rule out the possibility that intelligent life exists on other planets, but
the chances of that occurring are apparently very remote.) Of course, one may always cite the
anthropic principle, which states that all of this reasoning is simply perfect hindsight, in that
had these characteristics of the universe not occurred, there would be no human beings here
to observe it anyway.

The Universe Did Not Create Man

A further blow to the naive idea of man "evolving" through nature can be found in the
statistics necessary for life. This is a complex idea, and we will discuss it in further chapters.
But it is linked to the extremely high level of order which human life represents. As Ross
notes, the human genome, which is the set of chromosomes necessary for reproduction,
contains about six billion nucleotides, which are certain chemicals found in and essential for
the nucleus of cells. The support and reproduction of life inside human cells is incredibly
complex. After going through other complex scientific facts, Ross states that "the universe is
at least ten billion orders of magnitude (10 followed by 10 billion zeros!) too small or too
young for life to have assembled itself by natural processes. Such calculations have been
made by researchers, both theists and non-theists, in a variety of disciplines."

An Incredible Magnitude Of Order

The point of all this is that the universe was certainly created and developed by an ordering
force or Supreme Intelligence, who created earth to support human life. Human life is far too
complex, by ten billion orders of magnitude, to have evolved by "chance" or "nature" alone.
God has created the universe and human life through a magnitude of order so great that it is
indeed awesome.

God created order. God created everything in the universe out of order and energy.
Everything that exists is composed of order and energy, created by God.

The God Of The Bible

The God revealed through the Bible creates higher levels of order through various stages:

(1) The initial order of creating the world of nature, including humanity, as revealed in

(2) The order of the covenant relationship with the ancient Hebrews, through which God kept
his promise— "I will be your God, and you will be my people"— while the Hebrews
vacillated between periods of obedience and periods of disobedience including idolatry.

(3) The order of God’s Law, revealed in the Ten Commandments and subsequent rules of life
followed by devout Jews.

(4) The new order of life revealed through Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, and the great
commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind and
strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself."

(5) The Bible also claims that there will be a final revolution in the order of life when Jesus
Christ returns again to unite all believers in everlasting life and to destroy sin and evil
Through each of these stages, a higher level of order is revealed, order created by God
according to his divine wisdom, and we might believe, mankind’s capacity to respond to that
higher order.

The Special Order Of Love

Those who believe that love is the supreme religious value, and that order seems somewhat
cold and rigid by comparison, may reflect on the interdependence of order and love. Just
looking at the "great commandments," for instance, both emphasizing love, one finds the
implicit commandment of how we should order our love. God is the highest object of human
love, and we are to love him not only with our hearts but also with our minds, soul and
strength—that is, with our total being, our whole life, with all that we have and are.

Believers may also reflect on the biblical injunction to "love our neighbor as ourselves." This
does not say to love ourselves more than our neighbor, or to love our neighbor more than
ourselves, but to balance (order) the love for self and others. So the right order of love is God
first, then others and self in balance. One could also say that loving God first enables us to
balance love for self and others. As imperfect human beings, it is easy for many of us to put
ourselves so far ahead of others that we live very selfishly. But some believers, including
ministers, have made the mistake of putting self-love so far down the priority list that they
ultimately damage their own ability to take care of themselves and their immediate families.

Steven Covey, in his popular book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," teaches as an
overriding first principle the need to balance what he calls p (production) and pc (production
capacity). If we get all caught up in doing work and doing for others, we diminish our
production capacity, like engines that never have their oil changed. Self-love and self-care in
proper balance enable us to care for and love others more effectively, not less. Self-love
imitates God’s love for each one of us as individuals, and thus is as important and sacred as
love for others.

God’s Work In The World

I believe that God is continuously at work in the world as he creates new manifestations of
order and as he gives us opportunities to participate in his creation through higher or better
creations of order. From one perspective we can view recent developments in history, such as
the fall of the Iron Curtain and the opening of Communist nations to religious freedom, as
God’s action in history through higher levels of order. A key force in bringing about this
dramatic change is the force of interdependence of all peoples. Communist countries have
found that by living in interdependent trade and peace with other, free nations, they can enjoy
more abundance.

The electronic revolution links every point on the globe with satellite communications and
information about other parts of the world. Scientists share information with their
counterparts across international boundaries. In all these movements and many others, a
higher level of order is being created in the world, making the world a better place to live for
increasing numbers of people.

From another perspective we look back on the high level of order achieved by Hitler’s Third
Reich, and we must acknowledge that not all increased order is good. We might say that the
natural progression of order created by God is good, and we can know it as being consistent
with the biblical message. But some order created by man is not good, indeed can be the very
epitome of evil, as Hitler’s domination exemplified. We will discuss this further in a chapter
on good and evil.

Where We Go From Here

Obviously I could write a book about God, not just a chapter. But that is not the purpose of
this book. Instead I am choosing to write about God’s ongoing creation through the unique
reality of order. I believe that one of the primary obstacles to vibrant faith for many people is
the perception of the sensory world as real, and the misperception of God, who cannot be
sensed directly, as unreal. Likewise religion is often concentrated on one hour of the weekend
and not made a part of everyday, every-hour life. For me the reality of order is the bridge
between the sensory world of matter and energy and the ultimate reality of God, who has
created all things and continues to create new things through order. Let us examine that
creation, beginning with that smallest unit of reality, the atomic particle.



What Is Reality?

Let us start our development of a new understanding of reality at the most fundamental level.
What is reality? Dictionaries define reality to mean all things that exist or have actuality,
independently of our thinking or perception, as opposed to things which do not exist or are
just figments of our imagination.

Common sense tells us that physical objects are real. Anyone who seriously doubts that
tables, chairs, walls, doors, rocks, trees, people, dogs, cats, rain, the sun and similar physical
objects are real is considered to be not all right in the head. If we can see it, feel it, smell it,
hear it, taste it with one of our five senses, and especially if we observe it with multiple
senses and/or if other people report the same experiences, we are strongly inclined to believe
"it" is real, whatever it is.

What are these physical objects which we can perceive with our senses made of? That is a
very old question. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Democritus and Leucippus believed
that if you cut a physical object into smaller and smaller pieces, eventually you will reach
something so small that it cannot be cut any further. The Greek word for "uncuttable" is
atomos, hence our word "atom."

Most of us, we can safely assume, learned about the "reality" of atoms from school or our
parents. Although we cannot perceive individual atoms with any of our senses, they can be
observed with instruments. Researchers at IBM using an electron tunneling microscope have
actually succeeded in producing color pictures showing individual atoms looking like neatly
organized little fuzzy balls, and have even rearranged a group of atoms to spell IBM. Of
course these "pictures" are not ordinary photographs taken with an optical lens using visible
light, but are created through computer interpretations of signals created by an electron
tunneling instrument.

Mini-Solar Systems
Back in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Isaac Newton's theories of physics, which accounted so
well for the motions of the planets and other heavenly bodies, influenced scientists to believe
that atoms obeyed the same laws of physics as the planets and other solid objects.

Niels Bohr in the early 20th Century formulated a model of the atom as a mini-solar system,
with negatively-charged electrons revolving in orbits around a nucleus composed of
positively-charged protons and neutrally-charged neutrons. Eventually this atomic system
was found to be composed mostly of empty space. It was calculated, for example, that if the
nucleus of an atom were the size of a tennis ball, the nearest electron in orbit would be
several miles away. We are told that these electrons move so fast they can hardly be called
particles at all, but are more like bundles of energy or waves, appearing at regular intervals
like waves on the surface of a pond made by a splashing rock.

More recently, physicists have discovered and/or postulated a whole host of subatomic
particles such as neutrinos, quarks and gluons which occur in atoms or which leave traces
identified by sophisticated computers following collisions created in enormous high-speed
particle accelerators.

The Fundamental Particles Of The Universe

Research in the 1980s carried particle physics almost as far as it can go. Two particle
physicists, Gary Feldman and Jack Steinberger, reported in the February 1991 Scientific
American that all physical objects (again, this is not all that exists in ultimate reality) in the
entire universe from stars and galaxies to protons and neutrons, consist of three and only
three fundamental particles: the "up" quark, the "down" quark and the electron.

Protons, by this theory, are composed of two up quarks and a down quark, and neutrons are
composed of two down quarks and one up quark. The fundamental particles exist in three
"families." In the electron family are electrons, electron neutrinos, up and down quarks. In the
muon family are muons, muon neutrinos, "strange" and "charm" quarks. And in the tau
family are tau particles, tau neutrinos, bottom quarks and top quarks. Although top quarks
have yet to be observed, presumably they have too much mass to be created in today's high-
energy particle accelerators.

Except for the first family, which comprises electrons, protons and neutrons, the other
families, muon and tau, are highly unstable, lasting somewhere between a millionth and a
ten-trillionth of a second, after which they split into other particles with lower mass.

All Matter Is Composed Of Ordered Energy

Of course these minute particles are not little solid bits of matter like tiny grains of sand but
are small bundles of energy. They have mass (a measurement of inertia requiring force to put
them in motion) as expressed in Einstein's famous formula E=mc2, which can also be written
m=E/c2 – that is, their mass is equal to their energy divided or "slowed down" by the speed of
light squared.

Feldman and Steinberger discuss how these fundamental particles and others might have been
created in the first seconds of the universe (note that once again we have some very bright
physicists talking about creation as if it were a fact without acknowledging a Creator God):
"Shortly after the big bang, the cataclysmic explosion that created the universe and began its
expansion, matter was so hot that a neutron was as likely to decay into a proton-electron pair
as the latter was to combine to form a neutron. Consequently, as many neutrons as protons
existed. But as the universe expanded and cooled, the slightly heavier neutrons changed into
protons more readily than protons changed into neutrons." Thus protons became increasingly
more common than neutrons.

"When the expansion brought the temperature of the universe below one billion [degrees
Kelvin], protons and neutrons were for the first time able to fuse, thereby forming some of
the lighter elements, mainly helium. The resulting abundances depend critically on the ratio
of neutrons to protons at the time light elements were forming. This ratio, in turn, depends on
the rate at which the universe expanded and cooled."

Feldman and Steinberger note that "Many questions remain unanswered. Why are there just
three families of particles? What law determines the masses of their members, decreeing that
they shall span 10 powers of 10? These problems lie at the center of particle physics today."

These questions assume causality and purpose. "Law" as we have seen assumes a supreme
"Lawmaker" and a degree of order to extensive it could not be accidental, but instead was

The Order Of The Elements

Another familiar example of order at the atomic level is the periodic table of chemistry,
which shows similarities among the different elements occurring in patterns that have to do
with their atomic weight or number of atomic particles. For example, the group of elements
called Group 0 includes helium, neon and argon, all which tend to appear as gasses, with
neon and argon tending to emit light when electrified. Group 4 includes carbon, silicon and
zirconium which are often found in clear crystalline state. The fact that all physical things are
made up of atomic elements, and that all atoms of one type behave exactly the same under the
same conditions, is a tremendous example of order in reality that cannot be ignored.

Moving up from atoms, we have molecules that also behave with unvarying consistency
under the same conditions. Water freezes at 32 degrees F. (0 C.) and boils at 212 degrees F.
(100 C.) with total consistency, under normal sea-level conditions. Every chemistry
experiment involving a combination of elements to form new molecules, or existing
molecules to form new combinations, will always yield the same results under normal
conditions. There are laws of chemistry just as surely as there are laws of physics. If atoms
and molecules did not behave in an orderly manner, life as we know it would not be possible.
Glass could burn, water could explode, our fingers could freeze in the summer sun, and many
other phenomena might occur which exist only in our imagination – that is, not in orderly

So-called solid objects, whose molecules do not move internally (although of course their
electrons move constantly), contain a high degree of complex order. For example, a protein
molecule such as hemoglobin found in blood consists of hundreds of atoms of oxygen and
nitrogen surrounding an iron center. It has been estimated that there are more patterns of
order which various complex proteins can form than all the grains of sand on all the beaches
of the world – indeed, the number is almost infinite.
Order And Fractals

In 1975 Benoit Mandelbrot coined the term "fractals" (from the Latin for broken or
fragmented) to describe patterns which are found both in nature and "man-made," such as
frost on a windowpane, the colors in peacock feathers, and many other "beautiful"
phenomena. Mandelbrot, a researcher for IBM, and others have developed computer
programs which translate certain mathematical formulas into patterns of swirling color as
beautiful as anything found in nature. With the order of mathematics as their base, these
fractals are clearly the result of complex order, just as the beautiful patterns of nature.



Some Dynamic Ideas

We move now from the relatively familiar world of atoms and molecules into another
fascinating area of physics known as thermodynamics. The reason we are following this path
is that thermodynamics lies between the non-living realm of solids, liquids and gasses and the
much more complex realm of living things.

Thermodynamics, as the name suggests, has to do with understanding what happens when we
add heat (thermo-) energy to a dynamic system. A system is a group of parts which are
viewed as interacting and, for the purposes of physical experiment, isolated from external
influences except those variables which the experimenter is trying to control. In a dynamic
system, we consider factors such as matter, motion and gravity, which Isaac Newton
discovered follow certain principles which he called dynamics.
Instead of relatively cold or constant-temperature objects moving according to physical
principles like a grandfather clock, the importance of heat energy and thermodynamics
became increasingly significant in the 19th Century as attention was given to creating more
efficient steam engines to drive the industrial revolution.

The Conservation of Energy

The "Laws of Motion" and other discoveries of Newton led to great scientific fervor in the
19th Century. Static electricity, which causes a rubbed amber rod to attract tiny pieces of
paper, was discovered to move as a current which could be produced by a chemical battery.
Electricity could also produce light and heat. Magnetism could be used to create electricity,
and vice versa. In 1847, Joule determined that all these forms of energy, as the underlying
force became known, were interchangeable. He wrote:

"Indeed the phenomena of nature, whether mechanical, chemical or vital, consist almost
entirely in a continual conversion of attraction through space, living force (N.B., kinetic
energy) and heat into one another. Thus it is that order is maintained in the universe
[Author’s emphasis ] – nothing is deranged, nothing is ever lost, but the entire machinery,
complicated as it is, works smoothly and harmoniously. . . and everything may appear
complicated and involved in the apparent confusion and intricacy of an almost endless variety
of causes, effects, conversions, and arrangements, yet is the most perfect regularity preserved
– the whole being governed by the sovereign will of God."1

Thus we see that, even in the mid-19th Century, Joule (and other scientists) believed that
order was an essential aspect of the universe, a universe in which energy is neither created
nor destroyed, but simply converted in an orderly manner from one form into another,
according to the will of God. Joule’s concepts were close in many ways to the key concepts
of Ordergonics. This view of the universe was extended into a view of society and of humans
as energy-transforming machines, and even the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud
were deeply influenced by this mechanical concept of energy conversion. The principle of
conservation of energy was so widely accepted that it became known as the First Law of

As Jeremy Rifkin explains this Law:

"The most important thing to remember, again, is that we cannot create energy. No person
has ever succeeded in doing it and no person ever will. The only thing we can do is transform
energy from one state to another. This is a heavy realization to come to when we stop to
consider that everything is made out of energy. The shape, form, and movement of
everything that exists is really only an embodiment of the various concentrations and
transformations of energy. A human being, a skyscraper, an automobile, and a blade of grass
all represent energy that has been transformed from one state to another. When the skyscraper
is razed, and the blade of grass dies, the energy they embodied doesn't disappear. It is merely
transformed into the environment."2

The Second Law Of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics states that, in a closed system, the amount of available
energy tends to dissipate into less useful or less ordered forms. In the 19th Century scientists
observed that energy available in pressurized hot steam to drive an engine is converted into
work and heat, neither of which can be used to drive the engine any more. The amount of
energy no longer available for being converted into work is called entropy, a term which has
been much misused in modern times to mean the tendency of any order to erode over time.

Whenever energy is fully consumed to produce work in the world, it dissipates into a form
that cannot be used to produce more work. Many people see in this second law of
thermodynamics a paradigm of what is happening to the earth today. More and more, the
energy available in oil and other fossil fuels is being burned to drive our automobiles, electric
power plants and other machines that support our energy-consuming lifestyle. This energy
then dissipates into the atmosphere where, along with the increase in air pollution, it
contributes to the warming of the earth. Not only is the earth running out of fossil fuel, which
represents energy from the sun trapped millions of years ago, but also the burning of this fuel
is creating global warming which eventually could cause the melting of polar ice caps, the
flooding of worldwide coastal areas and other major threats to civilization.

Entropy And The Arrow Of Time

Entropy is responsible for what Sir Arthur Eddington identified as the Arrow of Time. While
Newtonian dynamics considered time reversible, the second law of thermodynamics says
that, because energy tends irreversibly to dissipate, time points in only one direction, into the
future, and we can never go back. Perhaps you have seen movies run in reverse where cars
back up, people fly upside down from pools onto diving boards, smashed teacups reconstruct
themselves on table tops, spilled milk gathers back into the bottle, and many other sometimes
hilarious events occur. We laugh because it is so impossible. The movie of life never runs in
reverse. The Arrow of Time points in only one direction.

As we consider the relationship between order and energy, then, we come to a very important
realization: that energy is needed to restore or maintain order in dynamic systems. Elevators
come down by gravity. To get them back up again, we must expend energy. While on one
hand the universe is running down, burning out, because of entropy, on the other hand some
expenditure of energy is creating ever higher forms of order. The worldwide communications
system which includes satellite transmissions and telephones everywhere, which lets you
contact someone halfway round the world by pressing a few buttons on your telephone, is just
one of thousands of examples of a high level of order which was created and is maintained by
an enormous amount of energy.

Entropy And Probability

The irreversibility of thermodynamics compared with the reversibility of classical dynamics

intrigued many physicists. Ludwig Boltzmann saw that the tendency of order in a system to
disperse to a state of uniformity or symmetry throughout the system could be expressed in
terms of probability. It is much more probable, he reasoned, that the energy in a system will
be spread uniformly than that the energy will be concentrated in one spot. This application of
the new mathematics of probability to thermodynamics was to have many important

Prigogine and Stengers observe, "Probability can adequately explain a system's forgetting of
all initial dissymmetry, of all special distributions. ... This forgetting is possible because,
whatever the evolution peculiar to the system, it will ultimately lead to... disorder and
maximum symmetry. Once this state has been reached, the system will move only short
distances from the state, and for short periods of time. In other words, the system will merely
fluctuate around the attractor [rest or disorder] state."3

For example, let us suppose that we had a closed container divided in half. In the left half are
molecules of oxygen, in the right half molecules of nitrogen. If we remove the divider
between them, the two halves quickly become equally filled with both oxygen and nitrogen.
While the divided state represented a higher level of order, the combined state represents
disorder, symmetry and increased entropy. Now, we can imagine that it might be possible,
with all those molecules zooming about, for all the oxygen to return to its end of the container
and all the nitrogen to its end "on their own." But as Boltzmann pointed out, that would be
highly improbable, so improbable as to be virtually impossible. What is most probable is that
the molecules and the two gasses will remain evenly and equally dispersed. This condition is
known as equilibrium, whereas a condition with a high degree of order or organization is
called "far from equilibrium." As we will see when we discuss the relationship between order
and energy in living organisms, the conditions within living cells is far from equilibrium and
requires a constant processing of energy.

Equilibrium Structures Are Timeless

"Equilibrium structures can be seen as the results of statistical compensation for the activity
of microscopic elements (molecules, atoms)," note Prigogine and Stengers.4 In our example
of the two gasses in a container, the uniform distribution of the gas molecules at the
microscopic level leads to the observation that the container is at equilibrium, even though
individual molecules are still moving rapidly about. Because equilibrium structures are inert,
they do not change with time. Once these equilibrium structures have been formed, "they
may be isolated and maintained indefinitely without further interaction with their
environment."5 Think of our airtight container of the two gasses – it could be left on a shelf
for decades if not centuries and, when examined, would be found to still contain the two
gasses in uniform distribution.

Why Is The Universe Not Uniform?

While physicists make much of the second law of thermodynamics, it is very interesting to
note that this should lead to a universe of complete uniformity. That is, the "natural" tendency
of matter and energy is to completely disperse into a uniform state. If that were the case, the
universe would consist of nothing but completely dispersed energy! Instead, there is and
always has been a high degree of order in the universe, shaping the energy/matter into clouds,
then solid objects. Order has been a component of the universe since the very beginning.


In this chapter and the preceding one, we have talked about order and energy at the atomic
level through the molecular level, introducing the concepts of thermodynamics and entropy.
Since this information may be somewhat new to many readers, it may be helpful at this point
to summarize:

1. All physical entities in the universe, from atoms to humans to galaxies, are composed of
subatomic particles which consist of bundles of ordered energy.
2. All physical entities consist of energy, and energy can neither be created nor destroyed,
only converted from one form to another.

3. Within closed systems, the component parts have a strong tendency to move to a state of
uniform distribution, increased disorder, dispersed energy or entropy.

4. The principle of entropy means that the Arrow of Time points in only one direction, toward
a future of increased entropy.

5. Yet the very existence of matter, in addition to its forms in particles, atoms, molecules and
more complex structures, defies the entropic principle and points to the tremendous power of
order at work in the universe.



The relationship between order, energy and information is a natural sequel to discussions of
the second law of thermodynamics. In addition to an examination of information theory and
its relationship to an understanding of order and energy, we will also look at general system
theory, which in turn is closely linked to an understanding of information theory. The two
theories form an excellent and necessary bridge to the understanding of order and energy in
living systems, from cells to human beings and civilization.

Dots and Dashes and Bits

A good place to begin this discussion is with Morse Code invented in the 19th Century by
Samuel F. B. Morse. Morse Code consists of two signals, a short click of electricity
signifying a "dot" and a longer "buzz" signifying a "dash." All the letters of the alphabet in
Morse Code are symbolized by just these two signals, which are really ordered energy
(electricity or sound). The pauses between each group of signals signifying a letter, and
between groups of letters signifying words, are also essential to understanding the messages
of Morse Code.

Binary code, invented in the 20th Century, is even simpler. It consists of just two symbols, 1
and 0. When thought of in terms of an electric switch, which is how binary code functions in
computers and many other devices, 1 means the switch is active or closed and can mean
"yes." Zero (0) means the switch is open or inactive and can mean "no." All numbers and
letters can be converted into "binary digits," a term which was shortened by taking the first
letters of "binary" and the last of "digits" to make "bits." In this manner, 1 signifies 1 in
binary code, 2 becomes 10, 3 becomes 11, 4 becomes 100, 5 becomes 101, and so on.
The Foundation Of Information Theory

Claude Shannon, an engineer with Bell Telephone Laboratories, published articles in the Bell
System Technical Journal in 1948 which became the foundation for information theory.
Although he intended them primarily for improving radio and telephone transmissions, his
concepts were sufficiently abstract and general that they have been widely applied.

In Grammatical Man, Jeremy Campbell writes:

"Scientists are still actively exploring the riddle of why nature's products are so improbable,
why they display so much order, when the most probable state for them to be in is one of
muddle and error, a surrender to the forces of disorder in the universe that seem so
overwhelming and natural. This is still thought of as being one of the disturbing paradoxes in
science.... In his 1948 papers, Shannon proved that, contrary to what we might expect, ... a
message can persist in the midst of ... a haphazard disorder, or noise.

"Most striking of all, Shannon's expression for the amount of information, the first precise,
scientific measure ... was of the same form as the equation devised many years earlier, in the
nineteenth century, for that most peculiar and fugitive of physical laws, the entropy

Order, Energy and Information

Shannon saw the similarities between the tendency of order in a system to degrade to
disorder, and the tendency of a message in communications to become degraded with noise.
The mathematics are virtually the same.

Think of the similarity between a jumble of molecules inside a sealed container, which is in
an equilibrium state of maximum entropy, and a jumble of sounds or letters which we cannot
understand. Restoring order among the molecules and restoring order or meaning to the
sounds or letters both require energy. High entropy means low or no information; high order,
or ordered energy, means information is available. This may also be stated in terms of
probability: high entropy is the most highly probable condition of a closed system; low
entropy, or high order, is the most improbable. In this way, both what we know and don't
know about a system or a message may be expressed in terms of probability. In information
theory, the information content (I) of an event is the inverse of its probability (P). An
information content of 3 would have a probability of 1/3. But instead of regular whole
numbers, information theory uses the bit, the binary digit we discussed earlier.

Redundancy And Rules

Another important aspect of information theory for the understanding of how order and
energy are related in living things is the concept of redundancy. Campbell writes:

"In nearly all forms of communication, more messages are sent than are strictly necessary to
convey the information intended by the sender. Such additional messages diminish the
unexpectedness, the surprise effect, of the information itself, making it more predictable. This
extra ration of predictability is called redundancy, and it is one of the most important
concepts in information theory. Redundancy is essentially a constraint,... reducing the number
of ways in which the various parts of a system can be arranged. A message conveys no
information unless some prior uncertainty exists in the mind of the receiver about what the
message will contain. And the greater the uncertainty, the larger the amount of information
conveyed when that uncertainty is resolved. Herein lies the profound relationship between
information and probability."

In the English language, like many others, redundancy reduces uncertainty in several ways.
First of all, there are rules of spelling and rules of grammar. If I wrote the preceding sentence,
"Foist uv awl, they is rools uv spellin and rools uv grammer," you probably could understand
me. Even though I violated several rules of spelling and rules of grammar, I followed others,
such as the rule of syntax, that enable you to reconstruct the correct meaning of the sentence.
This is why rules are considered a form of redundancy.

Had I written, "Rools uv uv uv foist spellin they awl, grammer rools and is," breaking
virtually all the rules (order), your reconstruction would have been much more difficult. The
order of words in sentences is extremely important in English.

Another form of redundancy relates to the order in which items of information such as letters
spelling words follow one another. If I sent you a message containing the word "spellin_,"
and a smudge prevented you from reading the last letter, you would be very likely to supply
the missing letter. "Lipslen" would have been more difficult, even though the same letters are
used in each case.

Redundancy also allows for more complex forms of order. John von Neumann, a noted
mathematics theorist, pointed out "that the structure of living organisms and of machines is
dictated to a great extent by the way in which they fail and become unreliable," Campbell
notes . "Failure, von Neumann said, must not be thought of as an aberration, but as an
essential, independent part of the logic of complex systems. The more complex the system,
the more likely it is that one of its parts will malfunction. Redundancy is a means of keeping
the system running in the presence of malfunction."

Predictability and Accident

As you will see when we further discuss living organisms and evolution, the difference
between predictability and accident is very important. This difference is very important to
scientists who are attempting to develop theories that will allow a high degree of
predictability. And according to evolutionary theory, all advances in life forms over millions
of years are the result of accidental genetic changes occurring during the reproduction
process of cells. Although we do not accept the theory of evolution at face value, it serves
here to demonstrate the link between information theory and biology.

Rupert Reidl has put all this in perspective in his remarkable book, Order In Living
Organisms: A Systems Analysis of Evolution. He points out that the ability to predict
accurately the information content of a message requires five conditions:

1. "The source must repeat its transmissions," because this is the only way that the receiver
can predict that the message will be repeated the same way it was transmitted earlier.

2. "The receiver must have a memory." Without a memory, the receiver cannot compare
transmissions or make predictions.
3. "The receiver must be able to compare," which relates to point 2.

4. "The programmes of a large number of sources must be so organized that the receiver can
learn to distinguish between individual events...and series of events." What this means is, if
the series of numbers '1 2 3 4 5' was repeated over and over, the receiver could predict its
recurrence as a series. However, if in a large sequence of numbers, '1 2 3 4 5' seems to be
only individual events, predictability will be virtually impossible. Suppose for example the
message was: 1 3 7 4 9 3 7 8 0 3 6 5 3 1 2 3 4 5 9 6 3 4 2 1 5..." etc. The receiver would be
very unlikely to separate '1 2 3 4 5' out from all the other individual numbers as a meaningful

5. "The programme of a source must remain within the same limits long enough for the
receiver to appreciate these limits...For only a large number of comparisons make it
improbable that the limits in a series of natural events have remained the same by accident
alone."4 In other words, if the sender limits the message to series of 5 numbers with a break in
between each series, the receiver would be able to perceive these limits and make predictions

If these five conditions make predictability possible, what leads us to believe that an event or
series of events is the result of accident instead of necessity? Reidl gives the example of
tossing a coin. Suppose someone says he can predict which way a coin will fall when tossed.
The probability of being right on the first toss is relatively good, 1 out of 2, so we might
ascribe his prediction to luck or accident. But the probability of his correctly predicting a
series of tosses accurately the second, third, fifth, tenth or hundredth time drops rapidly: 1/4,
1/8, 1/32, 1/1024, and 1/1.3 X 1030. The point at which each of us, as observers of this
process, would switch our perception from "accidental" to "something is causing this to
happen" varies with each person. However, most of us would become very suspicious that the
coin-tossing was "rigged" long before the 100th accurate prediction!

"In the world of accident and necessity we must then assume the reign of necessity," Reidl
says of a series like the 100 predictable coin tosses. He calls the rule of necessity
"determinacy" (actually he uses a German word translated as determinacy). Determinacy is
his measurement of the degree of order in an event or series. He notes that we may refer to
the probability of accident or indeterminacy in an event just as we may refer to the
probability of order or determinacy. Since one is the reciprocal of the other, we need to be
clear which one we are talking about. When the probability of determinacy or order is 100%,
we have what Reidl says is "law."5

This all may seem irrelevant until you realize that Reidl has developed a means of
mathematically measuring and specifying the degree of order in any situation, natural or
unnatural. He is thus able to "prove" that many, many events in nature which were once
thought "accidental" are so unlikely that they must be "determined" by law or other forms of
order. In fact he defines order as "conformity to law." The degree of order in an event or
system is equal to the law content multiplied by the number of instances where it applies. If a
"law" applied only once, we could barely perceive the order. But if a "law" applies to many,
many instances, such as the law of gravity, we consider the amount of order to be virtually
total, 100%.

Before we move on to the fascinating world of order in living things, we need to understand
one more dimension of order: the order of systems.
General System Theory

A system is obviously a form of order, an orderly arrangement of parts which function as a

whole. You may recall that the second law of thermodynamics referred to the tendency
toward increasing disorder and entropy within a closed system. A closed system, like the
molecules in the airtight container which we used as an example, is isolated from the rest of
the world. Technically the earth is not a closed system because it receives energy and cosmic
particles from the sun and outer space, and radiates energy back out into space. We may
speak of the universe as a closed system if we believe that it is finite, as recent astrophysics
indicates. But all living things, which we will discuss in subsequent chapters, are open
systems. They must take in food, gasses such as oxygen or carbon dioxide, and other nutrients
in order to survive, and they expel wastes back into their environment.

In 1968, Ludwig von Bertalannfy sought to bring all these system concepts into one
consistent understanding with his book General System Theory.5 A number of other authors
have expounded on his theory in a book published in 1975, General Systems Theory and
Human Communication.6 From these two books I have extracted 10 principles that apply to
closed and open systems, as follows:

1. A system is a dynamically interacting and interdependent group of members or

components and their attributes, forming a whole. This means that a system must consist of
two or more members or components; one thing is not to be considered a system unless it is
composed of multiple interacting components. For example, when we speak of interpersonal
systems, an individual person does not constitute a system, but in terms of living organisms
composed of component parts, a human being is most definitely a system. That is, insofar as
we discuss something as a system, we must by definition refer to it as a group of
interdependent parts.

"Dynamically interacting" means that there is movement and change within a system. A static
crystal such as a diamond is not considered a system because its parts do not move or change,
although technically its subatomic particles are in motion. "Interdependent" is also an
important term because what happens to one part of the system affects the other parts.
Remove the roots from a tree and it will die. Break some of the electrical connections in a
computer and it will not function. A serious accident to one member of a family will affect
the other members of the family, and so on.

The attributes of components refers to their characteristics. This is a direct function of their
interdependence. If the roots of a tree are dry, if the connections of a computer are broken, if
a member of a family is injured, then the dryness, brokenness and injury are all attributes that
are part of the system and that impact other components of the system.

When we speak of a system forming a whole, we are making a very significant statement
about the order of the system. This wholeness has several important aspects. One is that the
system functions as a whole and can be recognized as a whole. A family, a tree, a computer
can each be recognized as a whole made up of parts. Another aspect is that removing one or
more components undermines or destroys the wholeness. A branch is not a whole tree, a
keyboard is not a whole computer, a mother is not a whole family. This aspect of wholeness
is one of the most profound dimensions of order. We may take it for granted, but it seems
almost mystical or magical at times. The way a tree grows from a seed, or in some cases can
be propagated from rooted cuttings, involves complex living processes that scientists still do
not fully understand. The bonds between members of a family, though not physically visible,
are so strong that they can motivate sacrifices even of life itself. The loosening of those
bonds, when a child grows up and leaves home or when a divorce occurs, can be painful
experiences. The forces that make a system whole tend to keep it whole and to resist the
break-up of the system. (Perhaps this cannot be said of an inanimate object such as a
computer, but it is very true of living systems.)

2. The environment of a system consists of all objects and forces external to the system such
that a change in the environment's attributes or actions affects the system and vice versa. A
pond is an environment for a fish. A home is an environment for a family. Von Bertalanffy
and other systems thinkers define environment as external things which have a relationship
with or impact on the system. Thus the environment for each system can change over time.

If you are a member of an American company, much of what goes on in Japan is not part of
your environment. But when a Japanese competitor starts taking your customers' business,
your environment changes dramatically. In fact many of the forces which are tending to
shrink our world into a closely linked, interactive economy are forcing more and more people
to think of the whole earth as their environment. From another perspective, the world
economy is becoming a system in itself, and when we discuss subjects such as international
weather and protection of the environment, the earth itself becomes a system of interactive
parts! We may summarize all this by saying that "environment" is sometimes arbitrary and
always relative to how we define the system we are focusing on.

3. All living systems are open systems. Open systems maintain themselves in a continuous
interchange with their environments, importing and exporting matter and energy. One
essential aspect of life is that every living organism depends on importing energy from its
environment in order to survive. Some of that energy may be warmth from the sun or fire.
Some of it is always in the form of food or nutrients, which the organism processes to release
chemical energy or form new chemicals essential to life. And all living systems give off by-
products, ranging from animal wastes to oxygen released by plants. The by-products almost
always have lower-order energy than the ingested nutrients for that organism, although other
organisms may still take energy from the wastes or inhale the oxygen from plants.

A closed system, such as a computer, can exist and persist without importing energy. But
even then, any system in which there is physical, electrical or other motion must have energy
from the outside at some point to power its motion, such as electricity which runs the
computer. Actually a closed system is in many ways a product of the imagination of scientists
who need to isolate experiments from their environments in order to observe the results, such
as heating an enclosed gas to observe the increase in pressure. A closed system is an
unnatural device, of little value to anyone except to observe how it functions when energy is
applied. Even with closed systems, the relationship between order and energy is thus

4. Open systems are always acting and changing. However, they have a strong tendency to
reach and maintain a balance known as a steady state. For example, human beings are
always acting and changing, yet our bodies have a strong tendency to maintain a balance.
When we use up our energy reserves, we become hungry. When we get overheated, we
perspire. When we become tired, we desire rest. The steady state often represents an optimum
condition that the system seeks to return to again and again, even though the system is in
almost constant motion or change.
5. In open systems, the same steady state may be reached from different initial conditions and
pathways. This is called equifinality. For example, if a person is hungry, he can eat all sorts
of foods in all sorts of locations in order to restore his steady state. Equifinality is another
way of saying that open systems are adaptable; if there were not different pathways to the
steady state, the survival of the open system would be very much at risk.

6. Living systems tend to evolve toward higher levels of order in terms of differentiation and
organization. This is one of the most profound aspects of living systems and represents the
exact opposite of the entropy principle, which is a tendency to evolve toward greater disorder
and uniformity. It is very important to understand that the second law of thermodynamics
applies not to everything in the universe but only to closed or inert systems such as machines.
In living systems, there is what seems to be an innate drive for order. And how is this higher
order achieved? Through processing energy! Whether the energy comes from sunlight or
food, energy is essential for living systems, which have a natural drive for order. This
includes human beings, of course. This principle is very important to understand and again
demonstrates the profound significance of the relationship between order and energy in all
living things.

7. In human systems, the primary means of evolving toward higher levels of order,
differentiation and organization is the communication of information, especially in the form
of decisions. Get a group of people together for the first time and they may just mingle
around in a state of very low order. But once the group begins making decisions as to what it
will do collectively, or how labor will be divided, it begins evolving toward a higher level of
order. (The tension between achieving higher levels of order and succumbing to more animal
impulses was graphically illustrated in Lord of the Flies.)

8. Some order is brought about by the dynamic interaction of the components. Order may
also be achieved by feedback, through which the effects of actions are transmitted back to the
source of the actions to allow self-regulation. A thermostat is a classic example of a feedback
loop in a system – when the temperature drops to a certain level, the thermostat sends a signal
to the heater to send more heat. Feedback is essential to the success of any living system, and
modern management consultants stress the value of feedback from customers to keep an
organization functioning at peak performance.

9. A high level of order tends to make a living system and its parts function more efficiently,
but it also tends to restrict or abolish the equality of power among the parts. For example, in
most organizations a high level of order means different people have different power. There
are typically a chairman, president, vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, managers, etc.,
each with a particular level of power.

10. Adaptive systems try different means to ends or goals and eventually settle into a pattern
of interaction which minimizes conflict with critical factors in the environment. The tendency
here of various nations to join together through the United Nations to support world peace is
a good example. A husband and wife over the years tend to adapt to each other more and
more, resulting in fewer conflicts.

Order And Energy In Systems

Order and energy are absolutely essential for all living systems, all forms of life. Energy is
either taken in directly in the form of sunlight or heat, or created within the system by a
biochemical process such as the oxidation of carbohydrate, to make the maintenance of order
possible. This is what some researchers call dissipative structure – energy dissipates through
the living system. The living system must have energy to survive. And what makes it alive is
its order, its division into nucleus and membrane, for example, within each individual cell.
Order and energy are not just necessary for life – they are the very essence of life. Think
about that for a moment before moving onto the next chapter.



The Beginning Of Life

In 1953 one of the most exciting discoveries in all of science was accomplished by a 23-year-
old graduate student, Stanley L. Miller, at the University of Chicago. He filled a sealed glass
device with methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water, believed to be key elements of the
primeval earth, and electrified the contents with sparks simulating lightning. Within a few
days the water and glass were colored with a red slime that Miller found was rich in amino
acids, the basic components of life. Much of the scientific world was stirred by news of this
finding, and it was assumed that in a few years scientists would be able to recreate life in a
test tube. But such has not been the case.

In spite of all of science's advances, no one has ever been able to create out of non-living
matter a life form which could replicate itself under conditions which could possibly have
existed millions of years ago on earth. Fred Hoyle, the noted British astronomer, has said that
"the spontaneous emergence of a single-cell organism from the random couplings of
chemicals," even over millions of years, "is about as likely as the assemblage of a 747 [jet
plane] by a tornado whirling through a junkyard."1

Ever since Darwin speculated that life began as organic compounds accumulated in a "warm
little pond," the possible conditions suggested for the beginning of life have included the
condensation of chemicals in the atmosphere, hydrothermal vents deep in the sea, volcanic
eruptions, and even the surface of fool's gold, iron pyrite. But none of these theories have
been widely accepted.

Given all the advances of science such as genetic engineering and organ transplants, it is
quite possible that humans with sufficient knowledge and determination will be able someday
to create life out of non-living substances. What is highly improbable, virtually impossible, is
that life could have begun by chance or accident. The odds against it are overwhelming. Life
could only have begun by being caused, determined. In other words, life is the result of the
reality of order.
The Improbable Order of Life

A brilliant analysis of the significance of order in living things is Rupert Reidl's Order In
Living Organisms cited earlier. Remember, the greater the order, the greater the improbability
that that order occurred by chance.

Reidl uses an example of the U.S. telephone system, that is, all the telephones in the country
and their connecting links and switches. Assuming for the sake of illustration that there are
100 million telephones in the whole U.S. system, the improbability that such a system could
have been linked together by accident or chance is roughly equal to a number followed by a
thousand million zeros. Remember that only six zeros equals one million, and we are talking
about a thousand million zeros. This is a number beyond comprehension. And yet the
improbability of any known biological system emerging by chance or accident is very much
greater than this.2

Why is the number necessary for life so enormous? Because many billions of atoms and
molecules must be arranged in a very specific structural form (order) to support even the
simplest forms of life. For small bacteria, it has been estimated that the number of necessary
atomic positions is somewhere between 5 X 1010 and 1013 bits (a bit, again, being a binary
digit, a yes-no decision). Remember, these numbers refer to the correct order – the total
number of tries to reach this level of order by chance is again much greater than we can

To support human life, it is estimated that the correct number of atomic and molecular
positions is 2 X 1028 bits. This is an amount of information which far exceeds the content of
all the libraries on earth. And again, the possibility of human beings evolving by chance is so
incredibly remote as to be virtually impossible. We are not talking about metaphysics here –
we are talking about scientific, mathematical calculation of fairly high precision. The
instructions necessary to create a human being are greater than all the information in all the
libraries on earth. Now imagine – what is the probability that all that information in all those
libraries was assembled by chance? You can see when it comes to the order of life, the
amount of information required to create it is mind-boggling; the idea that it occurred by
chance is truly absurd.

Order And The Genetic Code

Now, here is another important fact: All human life is created by instructions in the genetic
code, but this code has only 105 to 106 bits of determinative information. How can this
possibly be? This question has puzzled biologists for many years. Reidl and others are
beginning to unravel the answer, and the answer is order, order arranged in the form of code
that can best be thought of as information. Reidl's definition of order as law multiplied by
number of instances suggests his answer: Some of the order in the genetic code is in the form
of law or instructions.

It is not accurate to say that one gene determines eye color and another gene determines hair
color, and so on. It is more like some of the genetic information is in the form of, "when
creating the eye, color it blue." We might say some of the information has something like the
form of verbal commands (one of the meanings of "order"), while other information is more
like nouns and adjectives.
Qualitative Analysis of Living Order

Reidl is the first person to develop a qualitative analysis of order in living organisms. The
numbers in the preceding section are quantitative, developed by other researchers. What can
we say about the qualities of living order? Here is Reidl's answer:

(1) "The qualitative aspects of order is contained in the law content" (Ibid., pg. 31). This has
to do with the pattern of order which is present in each case. For example, the series "1 2 3 4
5" has a pattern which can be described as "start with 1 and add 1 to each preceding number
until you reach 5." As we will explain in a subsequent chapter, a pattern is a profoundly
important type of order, the key to understanding all living things including the intricate
workings of the human brain.

(2) "Every law content must contain an irreducible essence," that is, a basic amount of
information which cannot be reduced without losing the meaning of the law. This law content
corresponds to a type of pattern. Part of Reidl's genius is to show that the living order in the
world "contains only a small number of well-defined basic patterns" (Ibid.), which we will
explore subsequently.

(3) "The common quality of all patterns is the ‘identicality of their individualities.’" Another
way of saying this is that there is an identical quality behind the minor individual differences.
As Reidl explains (pg. 31): "Thus, if after the message '1 2 3 4' we again receive '1 2 3 4' we
say: 'That is the same.' We ignore the circumstances that the second message arrives at a
different time, is on another part of the sheet of paper, the molecules of printing ink are
totally different, and so forth." It is our ability to describe two different things as "the same"
or "identical" that is the key to understanding patterns, which is the key to perceiving the
order in life.

How Is Evolution Possible?

Evolution is much misunderstood by the average person. Most people generally accept that
men and apes have similar ancestors, that amphibians existed before mammals, etc. But the
mechanism of evolution is taken for granted, when in fact it is a matter of great debate among

Here is the amazing truth: The mutations by which evolution supposedly occurs "are seen as
random and purposeless accidental changes," and the process of selection consists of the
effect of "the changing environment on the survival and prospects of reproduction of single
individuals" (Reidl pg. 60-61). But the mutation always occurs before the favorable effect of
selection. The environment never causes the mutation! Mutations are accidental, and those
which are not favorable for adapting to the environment result in the death or lowered
survival rate of the changed organism.

As Reidl asks, "If all this is true, where does the orderliness and directionality of evolution
arise from?" (pg. 61). Biologists have puzzled about this for more than 100 years, often
wondering about an "internal principle" in addition to the principles of mutation and
selection. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle suggested an internal principle of "entelechy"
which guides the organism to realize its end purpose.
Some thinkers have suggested that the apparent orderliness of nature is really just a projection
of human thought patterns. Certainly "the obvious agreement between the patterns of man's
logic and the supposed orderly patterns in man's environment" (pg. 63) is at least an amazing
coincidence. Reidl and others now believe (and this is a point we will come to again) that the
same principles of order that we perceive in the world around us are exactly the same
principles of order that cause our brains to function as they do. For insight into this
phenomenon, Reidl cites information theory:

Insights From Information Theory

"All systems that treat information, whatever field they may cover, fulfill both in themselves
and between each other, the laws of information theory and thermodynamics. This holds also
for the total system that includes the individual systems, i.e., for the physical universe in
which entropy increases unceasingly. Followed back into the past there must have been at the
beginning of all happening a condition of least entropy, and therefore of highest regularity
and highest information." (pg. 64)

Now you of course recognize that this brilliant German scientist is saying virtually the same
thing suggested earlier in this book about the conditions of order which must have existed at
the moment God created the universe. And now Dr. Reidl pauses to quote from the Bible as
indeed some others have, awed by the significance of information theory and order. The
Greek word for information is "logos." And the Gospel of John begins, "In the beginning was
the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. He was with God in the
beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been
made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

This is indeed a stunning insight. The Bible says that the same "Logos" or information that is
responsible for all creation, for the order of the universe, is the "logos" we find in the order of
life, and in the Godhead or Trinity.

The Principle Of Order In Life

As we stated in our section on general system theory, the law of entropy applies to closed
systems but not to open systems, and all living organisms are open systems, exchanging
matter and energy with their environment. All life forms on earth are directly or indirectly
dependent on the sun's energy for warmth. Other forms of energy come from ingesting matter
such as food which can be biochemically converted to release energy. What most
distinguishes a living organism from a dead one is its ability to store energy. Prigogine and
Stengers referred to life forms as "far from equilibrium." Rupert Reidl says "order can be
described as the tension between storage and random distribution of energy, between an
improbable condition of balance [among the living parts] on the one hand, and the greatest
mixture of component parts on the other" (pg. 67).

The throughput of energy in a living system allows "the building-up of systems that we call
ordered" (pg. 67), through what some call information and what Reidl calls determinacy. "A
steady throughput and the steady selection of more stable conditions necessarily cause a
steady increase in order" (Ibid.). In other words, as organisms develop more capability to
store and process energy, they evolve to higher levels of order. This "drive for order" is the
long-sought "internal principle" of evolution!
DNA: The Key To The Order Of Life

The biological form that allows this increase in order or information is the key element of
genetic material, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA is a very long chain of complex
molecules called nucleotides, specifically guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine, commonly
identified by their first letters as G, A, C and T . DNA thus functions almost exactly like a
punched tape used in teletype transmissions. "The code is read off in groups of three
nucleotides (triplets) beginning from a fixed starting point. This gives definite codons [i.e.,
words] with 4 X 4 X 4 = 64 possible combinations. The decoding mechanism recognizes
most of these combinations as meaningful triplets and translates them into the 20 different
amino-acids. This is rather like translating the three Morse symbols [dot, dash and pause] into
letters. To complete the analogy, an amino-acid can act as a starter and a meaningless codon
necessarily functions as a terminator." (Ibid., pg. 68).

All genetic code of all living organisms functions this way, a powerful indication of the
common ancestry of all life forms. Yet Reidl reminds us again, "Despite much search, no
mechanism has yet been found by which the decisions in the genome [set of chromosomes]
could be informed about an adaptational demand, however pressing. This preposterous and
indeed unbelievable and catastrophic circumstance (catastrophic for the billions of organisms
removed by selection) fueled [controversies among biologists] for decades. However, it now
seems that such retrospective action has never been possible. Genome decisions cannot be
meaningfully influenced by the environment" (pg. 68).

In the eyes of faith, one may believe that God has been responsible for the evolution of life.
But in the eyes of science, one can only see that mutations are accidental. So the question
becomes, as Reidl notes, how often do mutations happen, how great are the prospects of
success and what are the effects?

If a mutation causes a major change, the resulting organism will almost certainly not survive.
And mutations do not occur very often – Reidl says scientists generally agree on average one
mutation occurs in every 10,000 cases of reproduction. This means if a certain feature needs
to change in order for the species to better adapt to the environment, the change is highly
improbable until there have been 10,000 reproductions!

And the chances of this change being favorable are very slight. "Improvement by mutation is
as unlikely as the enhancement of a good poem by a printer's error" (pg. 69). Furthermore,
each gene causes effects in multiple features, and each feature is influenced by multiple
genes. So a favorable adaptation by chance mutation depends "not merely on a happy
accident, but on an accumulation of happy accidents" (Ibid.).

The Value Of Redundancy

You will recall from our discussion on information theory the importance of redundancy in
protecting the information content of complex systems, that is, in reducing the possibility of
error or miscommunication. Redundancy is also a protection for the genetic code. Without
redundancy in the form of "rules" or "instructions," the genetic code of DNA would have to
be approximately 40,000 times longer than it is, Reidl estimates (pg. 71).

Systemization In Living Organisms

The process by which instructions in the DNA code influence one another like electric
switches in a computer, that is, the redundancy which reduces the length of the code, is what
Reidl calls systemization. "The individual types of genetic switching action necessary for
systemization have been mainly studied in very lowly organisms. Their presence in all other
organisms is assumed, however, and is gradually being proved" (Ibid., pg. 73).

A good example of how systemization occurs in the genetic system can be seen in the way
the DNA code leads to the production of proteins within the cell which are essential to life.

The DNA code series "are sent out from the nucleus into the cytoplasm [the fluid body of the
cell outside of the nucleus] by the thread-like molecules of messenger RNA. These again are
copies (transcriptions) which reproduce in large numbers the information contained in
individual pieces of DNA. (The copying process moves at about 30 nucleotides per second
which ...corresponds roughly to the rate of human speech or of typing by a good typist.)"
(Ibid., pg. 75)

The instructions for creating proteins are then copied from messenger RNA to ribosomal
RNA. The messenger RNA threads are pulled through the ribosomes with the help of transfer
RNA. "The proteins are crocheted together, amino acid by amino acid" (Ibid., pg. 76). The
process bears a striking resemblance to an assembly line in a manufacturing plant. You can
see why the suggestion that all this could have evolved by chance is ridiculous – and we are
still referring to individual cells here, not more complex organisms!

Instructional Codes In DNA

But only a small percentage of DNA is actually required to produce proteins. Some of the
genetic material functions as switches, turning various protein productions on and off. As
Jeremy Campbell notes (Op. Cit., pg. 130), "It is clear from the elaborate ways in which
living creatures are transformed from embryo into adult according to an exquisitely subtle
timetable of development, that a very complex system of controls and rules, a genetic
grammar, must exist.... In the parlance of mathematics, some parts of the DNA message may
behave more like an algorithm than a cookbook recipe or the tape in a tape recorder."

An algorithm is a rule for solving a certain type of problem, especially one that occurs often.
A common example is the procedure for finding the greatest common denominator, the
largest number which will divide evenly into a group of whole numbers. An algorithm is a
helpful way to solve a particular kind of situation or problem which is frequently

"The algorithm," Campbell says in reference to DNA, "would be a kind of program,

instructing certain combinations of genes to turn on or turn off at specific times, and it would
be stored in the DNA text as information" (Ibid.). An algorithm can compact information, as
the example we noted earlier, where a sequence of numbers such as "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ..."
etc. could be created by a rule that says "start with 1 and add 1 to each preceding number."

Campbell reports that "Murray Eden, the MIT engineer who tried to simulate the evolution of
humans on a computer using the classical forces of natural selection acting on random
mutations of genes, found that there would not have been nearly enough time in evolution to
bring human beings onto the scene. He concluded that algorithms must impose constraints on
the chance mutations in the symbols of the DNA message, since the constraints of natural
selection alone do not seem powerful enough." (Ibid., pg. 131).

Rules Protect DNA Integrity

In other words, as DNA evolved to include "rules" (order) that allowed ever higher life
forms, these rules also served as a protection for the existing DNA code. Only mutations
which improved on the rules would thus have been accepted – mutations which "broke the
rules" were not accepted into the code. This explains the beauty and continuity of evolution,
and why the genetic code never produced four-headed monsters or flying purple cows.

"Mammals possess a DNA text thirty times as long as that of a sponge," Campbell notes (pg.
133), "but the extra length does not consist of genes which code directly for proteins. It has
been estimated that scarcely more than one percent of mammalian DNA is of that type....

"In the final evolutionary advance which led to the appearance of humans, mutations in
structural genes do not become increasingly frequent, as traditional evolution theory would
predict. Just the opposite is the case" (pg. 134).

The more complex the DNA structure in an organism, the more resistant it becomes to
change. If we consider evolution as the process by which God populated the earth with all
manner of living things, we might consider the increasing resistance of DNA to change as the
result of God saying "this is good," which is what the Genesis account of creation in fact

Mutations Decrease With The Advent Of Man

Campbell tells of the work of Morris Goodman, a professor of anatomy, who also developed
a computer model to simulate the process of evolution. This model showed that rapid changes
in DNA due to mutation slowed dramatically during the past hundred million years,
especially during the period when apes and humans split into separate evolutionary paths.

Goodman believes that this deceleration reflects the fact that the complex development of the
child in the womb needs to occur in a stable environment. "A great variety of gene activity,
producing a wealth of different proteins inside the womb, would be dangerous, perhaps fatal"
for the developing human embryo (Ibid., pg. 135). And yet once the child is born, it needs a
highly complex immune system to cope with the threat of disease. So now the gene system
switches on the development of the immune system, "with its tremendous built-in range of
information about harmful foreign bodies" (pg. 136).

All of this is an awesome display of the order of life.

Conservative And Dissipative Structures

Structures which are relatively fixed and have a minimum of free energy such as DNA,
enzymes and organelles are described by Manfred Eigen and Ruthild Winkler as
"conservative structures" ("Laws of the Game: How the Principles of Nature Govern
Chance," 1981). "The invariance of the genetic program is a concrete expression of these
rigid conservative forces. And occasional variations, or mutations, are nothing more than
'misreadings' that occur as the result of thermal fluctuations at this level. These misreadings
are preserved by means of identical reproduction, and if they proved to be advantageous, they
will be selected. This is the fundamental process that makes evolution possible" (pg. 78).

Conservative structures represent a precise balance of order and energy. Once we move up
to a living organism such as a cell, this balance becomes much more complex, requiring a
constant inflow and metabolism of energy for the organism to survive. Eigen and Winkler
call these more advanced structures dissipative. The spatial and temporal order in dissipative
structures arises "solely from the properties of the reactions inherent in the system. This order
is maintained by a steady flow and dissipation of energy, i.e., by the intake in substances rich
in energy and the discarding of substances low in energy" (pg. 96).

"From the combination of the transport of matter and of synchronized, periodic

transformations, (dissipative structures) form spatial patterns similar to standing waves [like
the ripples on the surface of water formed by the impact of a stone]. They cannot be produced
simply by adding together their subordinate structures. In morphogenesis [structural changes
in the evolution or development of a life form], dissipative structures are responsible for
determining and spatially organizing the elements of conservative structure, specified by the
genetic program of the cell. As patterns of stimuli in the network of the nerve cells,
dissipative structures represent more than the sum of the informational elements they contain
and are therefore a material correlative of a gestalt" (pg. 98).

Order And Energy: A Balance For Life

What Eigen and Winkler are saying here is, first, that dissipative structures control the
movement or activity of conservative structures. Inside the central nervous system, about
which much more will be said, the dissipative structures are responsible for recognition of
forms in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This tendency to recognize
whole forms rather than parts is called gestalt, German for form. It is also extremely
important that, at a very basic biological level, Eichen and Winkler and their colleagues
explain how order and energy control life forms to account for information, which also
explains how both the reproduction of life and our own knowledge are possible. As they go
on to say:

"Dissipative processes direct and synchronize how information stored in conservative

structures will be elicited from them and guarantee the functional effectiveness of that
information. The fact that spatial and temporal patterns can be translated into the abstract
language of an informational program is evident in the material self-organization of living
organisms as well as in the make-up of our ideas" (pg. 101).

In summary then, all life forms exist and remain alive because of a precise balance between
order and energy. That order is so intricate it could not possibly have evolved by chance,
again pointing to a Creator God of supreme intelligence. The highest form of life, of course,
is the human being, and the most distinctive part of the human being is the brain. Let us turn
to a closer examination of that incredible organ and its own abilities to use biochemical
energy to perceive order through the amazing process known as pattern recognition.



In recent years, much progress has been made analyzing human perception and the
functioning of the brain in terms of the use of biochemical energy to identify and process
order through pattern recognition. We may think of order as the underlying rules or laws that
make things what they are, and patterns as individual instances of matter and energy shaped
by order – the same order which allows us to recognize the similarity in different objects with
similar or identical patterns, as we noted in previous chapters. Order and energy are the very
essence of the brain's functioning. Perhaps this should not come as a surprise, considering
that the brain represents the supreme accomplishment of the complex order of the most
advanced form of genetic code, the human genome.

Recent research on the phenomenon of brain activity and pattern recognition has occurred on
two fronts: the simulation of brain-thinking by computer circuits and software known as
neural networks, and the analysis of perception itself as pattern-processing.

A Computer That Works Like A Brain

In the current age of technology, innovative computer scientists are exploring how to make a
computer work as much like the human brain as possible. They are creating circuits which
use electric energy and which physically resemble the neurons (nerve cells) and ganglia
(connecting fibers, much like wires) in the human brain. These circuits are called neural
networks. And they are just beginning to simulate some of the marvelous feats of the brain.

For example, an average human can recognize another person's face through pattern
recognition in less than a second, something even the fastest, vastest computer cannot handle,
even though that same computer can do most mathematical calculations very much faster
than any human. It is said that a pigeon can be trained to tell the difference between
photographs which have a person in them from photographs which do not, with an accuracy
and speed that again even the best computers cannot yet equal.

Neural Patterns In The Brain

The brain works by forming patterns – not little tiny pictures of houses and people, of course,
but patterns of neurons linked by ganglia. The neural pattern that allows you to recognize a
house really does exist, physically and biochemically, in your brain. No one can see it as
such, and no one knows for certain if it exists in a specific place or if it is a function of an
area of the brain. But it is possible to electrically stimulate certain spots in the brain and
evoke the recollection of a vast pattern of memory-experiences.

Think how incredibly powerful the human-pattern recognition ability is. Every word, every
object in the world that we can identify, we identify because we recognize it as a pattern that
we have seen, heard or otherwise learned before. And we are constantly learning new patterns
by associating or combining old patterns.

The infant in its dim developing consciousness learns patterns long before words. Individual
sensory stimuli such as pleasure, sound and touch become associated in the infant's brain, and
form a pattern through repeated stimulation and association. Thus the child learns the pattern
of its mother's face and voice as different from others'. The child learns to associate the feel
and smell of the mother's breast with nourishment, with the end of pain and the satisfaction of
hunger, with being held and feeling secure.
Some of the most powerful patterns in our adult brains are patterns of feelings and sensations
going all the way back to infancy, perhaps even to prenatal experiences in the womb. These
often-unconscious patterns can have great influence on our lives. As we age, the order of our
internal patterns becomes extremely complex, made up of sub-patterns, and we are constantly
learning and forming more of them all our lives.

Move from the child's earliest sensations to the advanced scientist scanning the heavens with
a radio-telescope for signs of intelligent life. What is the scientist searching for? (What is
every scientist searching for?) A pattern. A pattern like three dots, three dashes, three dots
(Morse Code for SOS) or a sequence like 3.1415962...(pi) that will give him a clue that there
is intelligent life, something like another brain, somewhere out in the universe.

How The Brain Works

Although signals move more slowly in the brain than in computers, the brain is able to
recognize patterns much faster than computers because its billions of neurons can all work on
the problem virtually simultaneously. In what has been described as a "town meeting," the
billions of neurons "vote" on what the new pattern is, matching a pattern in memory with the
pattern of new sensory input. This somewhat "fuzzy" process allows the brain to identify
different examples of a common pattern—to see a new tree as similar to other trees
previously observed, for example.

As the brain's complex network functions, it uses a great deal of energy. Although it weighs
only about 2 percent of the total weight of the human body, it consumes up to 20 percent of
the body's energy. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, thought erroneously that the
energy of the brain and nervous system was generated externally. Freud believed that
"impulses and wishes not released in action were repressed, often surfacing to consciousness
in dreams. High levels of energy, bottled up like steam in a railway engine, were
unpleasurable to the conscious brain, which was strongly inclined to the pleasurable principle
of discharge...." Contrary to Freud's view of the brain as a victim of forces from outside the
body or from instinctual drives such as hunger or aggression, the brain calls its own shots. As
Campbell says, "The brain, far from just reacting to gusts of energy bombarding it from the
instincts or the outside world, maintains its own information system in a more or less stable
balance, and to a large extent drives itself. Normally, at any one time more neurons are
switched off in the brain than are switched on, so there is no need for safety valves to blow
off superfluous heads of steam. The brain does not passively accept what is given. It selects
and structures the messages it needs, shutting down unwanted circuits. As many as 80 percent
of the neurons in the human brain may act to suppress activity rather than to excite it."

A Pattern-Recognition Organ

The brain is an incredibly complex, versatile pattern-recognition organ. It does not think in
neat linear fashion, as we might think formal logic would require. Virtually everything the
brain does is some form of pattern recognition and pattern processing. And why not? The
brain is in fact made of neural networks, brain cells linked together in an almost infinitely
varied number of possibilities – a variety as infinite, say, as the infinite variety of experiences
in human life.

The more a cluster of brain cells is stimulated, the more likely it is to work in conjunction
with related cells. In this manner simple patterns resulting from sensory stimuli are linked by
the brain into ever-more advanced patterns of patterns, into concepts which may become
increasingly abstract over time. If you focus your concentration, you could write or talk for
hours about what an abstract concept such as love or justice, drawing on the extensive
patterns filed away in your brain.

Although some patterns in nature seem to be observable by virtually everyone, such as the
association of thunder, lightning and rain, there are other patterns which are much more
ambiguous. Astrology, for example, believes that patterns of celestial bodies determine or
influence the behavior or fates of people. Elevators to one person may just be a convenient
form of vertical transportation, and to another a cause of sheer terror because of some
traumatic pattern hidden in the subconscious. Mental patterns are highly individualistic.
Without doubt no two people on earth have the same sets of mental patterns.

Patterns And Thinking

Howard Margolis has elaborated on the brain's pattern-processing functions in his book
Patterns, Thinking and Cognition: A Theory of Judgment. Margolis believes that the brain's
pattern-recognition abilities are themselves the product of evolution.

We can imagine prehistoric man shuffling through the brush when he catches a quick
glimmer of something moving in the tall grass not far away. With lightning speed his mind
recognizes the pattern of movement in the brush as being possibly an animal, and when he
sees two feline ears he recognizes that as the pattern of a tiger head, and instantly his body is
poised for flight or fight. This is how prehistoric man survived and evolved.

Now let us imagine a logical approach. He sees the brush move and he thinks, "Hmmm...
Some brush movement is associated with animal movement. Some feline ears belong to man-
eating tigers. Therefore, the movement in the brush ahead may mean there is a man-eating
tiger ahead. I am a man. Therefore I might be eaten by this tiger. But perhaps it is only a
harmless ..." and at this point he becomes tiger lunch.

Margolis reveals many illusions that provide strong evidence that the mind is not "logical"
but really operates on pattern recognition at all times.

The Brain Is Not Logical

One example he gives involves shuffling a pack of cards and laying three of them face down
on a table. Then consider these two propositions:

A. "At least two of the three cards are the same suit."

B. "All three cards are different suits."

Which of these claims is more probably true? Nearly everyone says "B", when in fact, "A" is
more likely to occur than B by a ratio of about 3 to 2. Very few people also see, unless given
help, that A and B are logically converse. That is, if A is false, B must be true, and if B is
false, A must be true. But if our minds were really logical, all of this would be ridiculously

Patterns Guide Animal Movement

In all higher animals including man, Margolis notes, the brain seems to include an elaborate
model or pattern representing the animal's own body. "A neural loop provides that in addition
to the signals to the muscles setting in motion a pattern of response (efferent signals), there
are feedbacks (afferent signals) which inform the brain of what is actually happening. This
afferent/efferent setup makes no sense unless there is some internal pattern that allows the
creature to use the feedback signals to adjust its performance by comparing the pattern of
actual movement (from the feedback loop) to the intended pattern of movement. It seems
reasonable to suppose that the pattern a creature recognizes – adjusts to – by sensing its own
movements is the same pattern the creature uses to organize its movements.

"A similar sort of dynamic internal patterning seems required to allow an animal running
along a trail to avoid stumbling over irregularities in the terrain, logs that have fallen across
the trail, and so on. For as you can notice for yourself if you walk through the woods, by the
time a creature's feet reach the points where it might stumble, its eyes are ordinarily focused
on things well down the trail. You do not watch your feet, but they know where to go. For a
human, it would take refined experiments to be sure that the feet are not being watched
(subliminally) through peripheral vision. But four-footed animals could hardly be doing that.

"Finally, a higher vertebrate's memory of its surroundings (its territory, neighborhood, and so
on) must provide some internal representation that keeps track of the location of important
temporary features of the scene. A zebra which has caught sight of a lion does not forget
where the lion is when it stops watching the lion for a moment. The lion does not forget
where the zebra is."

The Brain's Infinite Pattern Capacity

To absorb the incredible amount of information an animal must store in its brain in terms of
territory-patterns and terrain-patterns, the brain has the potential for billions upon billions of
connections of ganglia and neurons – it's another one of those numbers greater than all the
letters in all the books in all the libraries of the world. Only something this complex could
possibly provide an internal map of portions of the external world. The correspondence
between the complexity of the external world and our mind's ability to map it through
patterns is extremely interesting. Perhaps you have had the experience of mentally driving
down a very familiar street and noticing the pattern of every building on the street in your
mind’s eye. The ability of birds to migrate thousands of miles each year without getting lost
may be due in part to mental maps that are hard-wired in their brains.

Non-Linear Logic

Margolis believes that our minds do not function on the basis of logic at all, but function
instead by pattern processing, what he calls p-cognition. He believes the so-called linear
aspect of logic is really a series of little pattern-processing steps that have been learned over

I believe instead that some brain activity appears to be logical because a certain kind of
pattern processing is logical. This is apparent in a type of symbolic logic known as Venn
diagrams. Here is an illustration, based on perhaps the most famous example of logic of all
times, the Socrates syllogism:
The statement "All men are mortal" would be represented by two circles, a smaller one
representing "men" and a larger one representing "mortal things." The "men" circle would be
entirely enclosed within the "mortal things" circle. Thus "all men" would also be "mortal

Then the statement "Socrates is a man" would be a small point representing Socrates inside
the "men" circle. And the logical conclusion, "Therefore Socrates is mortal" would be
obvious since the Socrates-point would be inside the "mortal things" circle as well. It is not
difficult to imagine that neurons could process patterns in a similar manner.

In formal logic, this kind of three-statement reasoning is called a syllogism. The statement
"All men are mortal" is the major premise. The statement "Socrates is a man" is the minor
premise. And the statement "Socrates is mortal" is the conclusion. When I studied this in
college, I thought to myself, "This is too easy. Any fool can reach the conclusion."

Perhaps I and others have felt that way because pattern-processing is more like the Venn
diagrams and happens so quickly that the formal syllogism is like learning some ancient
dance form, a ritual with no utility.

We will continue our study of order in the brain, and of the significance of patterns, as we
look at the tremendous importance of patterns in psychology in the next chapter.

Chapter 12
The Power Of Mental Patterns

The patterns that we carry around in our heads have an incredible power. If they are
strengthened by repetition, and especially if they are associated with strong feelings, they
seem to take on a life of their own. This chapter reflects a synthesis from many areas of
psychology, but is especially influenced by object relations psychotherapy, in which the
"objects" with which we have relations are our internalized patterns.
You carry around, inside your central nervous system, patterns representing every significant
person in your life, not only the ones you are close to now, but those whom you were once
close to and have been separated from. You carry around family members who have died, old
lovers, favorite school teachers, childhood friends, and many, many more... all as patterns.

The Self-Concept Pattern

One of the strongest patterns we carry is the self-concept, which we could also call the self-
pattern. This self-pattern is similar to what psychiatrists refer to as ego boundaries. It is the
sum total of all the experiences, knowledge and feelings I have about my self, or you have
about your self. Just as we instinctively protect our bodies from attack, we also instinctively
protect our self-pattern from the invasion of painful data.

For example, a young person who believes that her parents love her will go to great lengths to
ward off any information which might challenge this part of her self-pattern. She may be
ignored in her adolescent years and be given very little "quality time" by her parents. Still she
clings to her self-pattern. These efforts to ward off intruding reality are called ego defenses,
and we all have them. But ego defenses learned in childhood can become destructive later in
life. They can lead to the denial or avoidance of any kind of experience that might be
associated with a threat to the self-pattern, such as agoraphobia, fear of flying, psychosomatic
illness, pathological lying and much more. In fact, the effort to defend the self-pattern against
"reality" is the root cause of much mental illness.

This self-pattern is extremely complex and multi-faceted, and different dimensions of it may
appear under different circumstances. For example, I may speak of my self as the "I", the
actor who is in charge of what I say and do. To a large degree what "I" can do is limited by
my self-pattern. But it is possible, through an act of will, to override the self-pattern and to
choose to take some action which transcends or contradicts the self-pattern. This may be
referred to as the existential self because it reflects the viewpoint of existentialism. That is,
the very nature of human existence demands that I constantly make choices, choices often
based on uncertainty, and I must accept responsibility for the consequences of those choices.
To exist is to choose, and to cease to choose is to succumb to the threat of death.

Psychologists also speak of the true self and the false self. The false self is a pattern or mask
we wear to impress others – the Latin word "persona" means an actor's "mask." This pattern
has been learned in order to elicit desired behavior from others. A common example is "the
good boy" who is really a little demon inside. His parents see only the good boy and do not
believe others who say he is really a little demon. When the false self perpetuates into
adulthood, as it almost always does, it can cause many problems. Not only do other people
misperceive the individual because of the false self, but also the individual exerts a great deal
of energy maintaining the false self, all the while suffering anxiety because he knows
consciously or unconsciously that this self is false.

The true self is the authentic self. It is the self which is at one with its true feelings and
strengths. It is a consistent pattern, a consistent order of personality and behavior. The true
self can be asserted by an act of will or discovered through maturation, but usually
uncovering it requires extensive psychotherapy, because we are so adept at deceiving
ourselves even more than we deceive others.

Internalized Patterns Of Others

In the same manner as the self-pattern, you carry around experiences and events which were
significant in your life or had strong feeling components. Your graduation from high school.
Some important victory in athletics or academics. Learning to drive a car. Your first intimate
sexual experience. Your marriage or your divorce. Even though I do not know you, I know
that you have many such powerful patterns inside you, for this is the essence of being human.

Over time, past-patterns strongly influence present perceptions. Each new person you meet is
perceived in terms of patterns of people you have known before. If you are seeking a mate,
your perceptions of possible partners are strongly influenced by your internalized patterns of
your opposite-sex parent. If you are a woman, you tend to seek a man who had the positive
qualities you admired in your father but not the negative qualities you did not like. If you are
a man, you tend to seek your mother-pattern in the same manner.

This patterning can exercise some strong forces on our present behavior without our
realization. A boss at work may unconsciously remind us of an overbearing father, even in a
slight way, but sufficient to bring back into force our anger and hatred that we felt towards
our father when we were a child. Even a sentence, repeated often in childhood and by a
domineering parent and experienced with pain, such as "What's wrong with you – can't you
do anything right?", can trigger powerful reactions without our realizing why.

If you have been an employer or supervisor at work, you might have experienced younger
staff members relating to you as if you were a parent. You might say something that seems
absolutely businesslike, such as, "There seems to be some problem here." But unknowingly,
you may be triggering some employee's emotional pattern from the past, and BOOM, they
react as if you had said, "You stupid idiot! You can't do anything right!" Actually, they are
reacting as if you were a parent who had some behavior pattern that they have internalized in
a negative manner.

Patterns And Projection

This process of responding to another person as if he or she were someone else is called
projection. It's as if you are projecting the pattern of the past person onto the present person.
It is one of the No. 1 causes of friction in human relationships. It is probably the No. 1 cause
of divorce in our country. It is very, very difficult, especially for young adults, to relate to
present people in the present, free from patterns of the past. If you are able to relate to
someone in this present-time, real-person manner, you are able to have an authentic
relationship with them. But very few people, unless they have extensive psychotherapy, are
capable of doing this.

There is another "hidden" aspect to patterning that has a powerful effect on human behavior.
Not only do we all tend to react to present people as if they were other people from our past
through projection, but we also tend to react to present people as if they were the same as an
internalized pattern.

Patterns And Marriage

Let me explain. If you are married, for example, you have developed inside your brain a very
strong pattern of your spouse. That pattern is so real that you can practically experience your
spouse's presence even when he or she is gone. Now here's the scary part, the dangerous part:
If you have been married for some time, say a year or more, you are really married to that
pattern, not the person. That pattern has become so strong that you perceive your spouse
here-and-now through the filter of your internalized pattern. If your spouse does something
that fits the pattern, you see it. If the spouse does something that doesn't fit the pattern, you
have a tendency not to see it.

Again, this is a powerful source of friction in marriage and of divorce. One partner changes
and the other refuses to accept the change. One partner tries to do things differently and the
other partner refuses to go along. Even when one partner is trying to make the marriage
better, the other partner – unless he or she is involved in the same effort – is very likely to
persist in the patterns of the past.

This is especially true of marriages because repetition and feelings tend to make the
internalized pattern so strong. But it is also true in many other human relationships –
friendships, work relationships, parent-child relationships. Anyone that you have spent a lot
of time with, especially if you have had strong feelings in that relationship, is likely to
become an internalized pattern, making it very difficult for you to perceive them as a present-
person. Even if you become aware of the all-pervasive aspect of this pattern-persistence, you
can hardly avoid it without concerted mental effort.

Patterns And Dreams

Dreams are another powerful form of patterns. From our previous discussion of internalized
people-patterns, you can perhaps see that dreams are filled with re-experiencing patterns of
people and events. In his insightful book, Decoding Your Dreams, Dr. Robert Langs explains
how dreams are a recounting of the meaning of the previous day's events, or rather, of the
mental patterns of the previous day. (In some cases dreams may go back further than a day,
but not often.) Once you get the knack of decoding these dream patterns, it is remarkably
easy – and enjoyable – to analyze the meaning of your dreams.

For example, you might dream you are riding in a train. This will invariably be linked to an
experience of the day prior to the dream. The train pattern could be cued or "encoded" by
traveling in a car, by seeing someone who reminded you of a friend you traveled in a train
with, by eating something you once ate on a train, by associating a train with male sexuality,
by a sound that reminded you of a train whistle, by something you read in the newspaper, or
even the word train, such as a training class or the train of a wedding dress.

Decoding your dreams is like opening up a giant database or file cabinet in which every
association you have ever had with the word, image or experience of "train" is linked to every
other word, image or experience of "train." This is exactly, precisely how the neurons in the
brain are linked by ganglia, researchers believe. And when a dream image is fresh in your
mind, it is remarkable how your brain can scan through its "database" of patterns to help you
decode the dream.

Of course if you are repressing a certain memory pattern, it may be hard or even impossible
to "call it up" from the past, especially from the distant past when you were a very young
child. There is no way you can read this book or any other and have infallible insight into the
meaning of your dreams. But you can analyze many dream patterns once you understand how
the mind works, and you can analyze many more if you develop more self-knowledge
through psychotherapy.
Patterns And Order In The Mind

Although our discussion of the functioning of the mind has largely relied on the aspect of
order known as pattern, no discussion of human perception would be adequate without noting
the mind's own innate striving for order. Whenever we are confused or puzzled, whenever we
experience what one psychologist called "cognitive dissonance," we seek instinctively to
resolve the confusion and achieve a mental balance of order.

Again there have been many debates over the years as to whether order is entirely a
projection of the human mind on a chaotic world or whether the world actually possesses
order. I hope that the earlier chapters in this book have indicated that the world indeed does
appear to have a high degree of order. But whether this order is independent of human
thought can never be answered. This is what philosophers call "begging the question." In
other words, the question, "Does the world possess order independent of the human mind?" is
a question that itself presumes a mind seeking order.

Given the fact that our minds are resident within our bodies, and our bodies are systems
which are driven to seek internal balance, it is probable that our instinctive drive for order is
unavoidable and completely determined. Even the insane person whose mind seems chaotic
has created his own inner world of order to balance his tremendous internal tensions.

Let us remember that the order we are discussing in this book is not mechanical order but
probabilistic order. And it is highly probable that the human mind has evolved instinctively
seeking order in its environment. And that probability is all we can know. There is no

The significance of order and patterns for psychology could fill volumes. What I have tried to
demonstrate in this chapter is some of the more salient instances in which these concepts
apply, especially in areas that are not as well known among the general reading public. I
could not possibly cover the whole field of psychology.

In the same manner, in our next chapter we will touch on some of the more interesting and
less-known aspects of patterns in relation to human communication. Although we have
touched on this subject under the heading of information theory, there is much more that can
be said concerning order and patterns in communication.


Primitive Forms Of Communication

The earliest forms of communication, of course, were non-verbal. Through gestures, motions,
expressions and sound, early homo sapiens communicated basic needs and feelings. We can
observe animals' behavior to get some understanding of pre-verbal human communication.

Many animals such as birds have warning signals – a loud "cheep" in certain situations means
"danger!" If you have ever lived with a cat or dog, you know how well they can communicate
hunger, a desire to go outside, affection and much more.

The simplest forms of animal communication that I have observed are "moving toward."
Moving toward the door indicates a desire to go through the open door. Moving toward the
food dish and making a sound indicates the desire to be fed. Moving toward a hand signals, "I
want to be petted." All these behaviors are patterns, of course, and it is highly likely that the
fulfillment or object of the moving-toward exists as a pattern inside the animal's brain. The
behavior pattern is as far as the animal can go replicating the act – it needs your help to
supply the food, open the door, etc.

B.F. Skinner and other behaviorists would say that it is pointless to wonder or presume about
what goes on inside an animal's head. That is something we can never know. Behaviorists
believe that it is sufficient to say that a certain behavior pattern is reinforced by a certain
stimulus, that moving toward the door is reinforced by the door being opened, or moving
toward the dish by being fed.

From either perspective, the attention-getting behavior is a pattern that the animal uses to
communicate, in some way to control its environment.

Words As Patterns

Higher up the ladder of animal behavior we find human language. Words are patterns par
excellence. Each word is associated with an array of neural patterns in the brain. When I
speak a word, like "ball," I may have associated it with a sub-pattern in my brain that
corresponds to "round objects used in sports or play." You may hear it and think I mean "an
elaborate dance or social event."

In the section on information theory, we learned the importance of the redundant aspect of
communication, and the role of rules in giving order to our verbal communication. Rules are
often first learned as patterns, as the young child repeats what he or she has heard "because it
sounds right," long before the rules of grammar are understood.

The Components Of Communication

Human communication, as it is usually understood, involves several components:

1. A sender, the source of the communication

2. A receiver, the intended audience of the communication

3. A message, which is the information, feeling or meaning which the sender wishes to

4. A channel or medium, such as the telephone or longhand writing

5. A code or symbolization, in which the message is encoded (for example, as spoken or

written words) by the sender and decoded by the receiver.

6. The transmission of the message through the channel or medium.

Since communication is such an uncertain undertaking, with little certainty that the receiver
got the message as it was intended, a seventh element is sometimes added:

7. Feedback assures the sender that the receiver did indeed get the message. This is called
"closing the loop" of communication. Feedback makes the difference between the mere
transmission of information, and true communication.

The patterns that our brains select in decoding words which are heard or read depends a great
deal on an 8th element of communication, the context. If the context is a baseball game,
"ball" may mean either the hard, round leather-covered object which is thrown and hit, or an
umpire's call derived from that use of the word. If the context is a group of well-dressed men
and women dancing to orchestral music, an entirely different context exists and a different
interpretation is made. The context is another pattern, an environmental pattern, which our
brain uses to interpret the intended meaning of words.

All of this is learned, built over time through experience, through association of images and
other sensory inputs with words and other stimuli. For example, a wooden bat may stimulate
one connotation of "ball," and a glass slipper may stimulate another. Words, images, sounds,
feelings and much more are all interconnected by our neural networks as extremely complex

The Incompleteness Of Communication

Because each of us has a unique combination of neural networks based on prior experience,
communication is at best an incomplete and inexact act. It is not possible for a sentence to
mean exactly the same to me as it means to you. I can only begin to understand what a
sentence or an experience means to you if you explain to me in great detail all the
associations you have in your mind with the words in the sentence and the sentence as a
For example, if you are afraid of riding in an elevator, I can only begin to understand your
feelings if you explore out loud your past experiences with elevators, with being enclosed in
small rooms, with moving up and down without much control, and so forth. This is made
much more complex by our minds' repressing some patterns in the unconscious. The real clue
to fear of riding in elevators may not be accessible to your conscious mind due to repression.
But that is a huge other subject we will not explore in detail here.

All Behavior Communicates

In their widely acclaimed book, Pragmatics of Human Communication, Paul Watzlawick,

Janet Beavin Bavelas and Don D. Jackson claim that "if it is accepted that all behavior in an
interactional situation has message value, i.e., is communication, it follows that no matter
how one may try, one cannot not communicate. Activity or inactivity, words or silence all
have message value: they influence others and these others, in turn, cannot not respond to
these communications and are thus themselves communicating."

Watzlawick et al. add that "a communication not only conveys information,...at the same time
it imposes behavior." Following the work of their mentor Gregory Bateson, the authors note
that all communication has two aspects – the "report" and the "command." "The report aspect
of a message conveys information and is, therefore, synonymous in human communication
with the content of the message....The command aspect, on the other hand, refers to what sort
of a message it is to be taken as, and, therefore, ultimately the relationship between the
communicants. All such relationship statements are about one or several of the following
assertions: 'This is how I see myself . . . this is how I see you . . . this is how I see you seeing
me . . .' and so forth in theoretically infinite regress."

The authors note that the messages "‘It is important to release the clutch gradually and
smoothly’ and ‘Just let the clutch go, it'll ruin the transmission in no time’ have
approximately the same information content (report aspect), but they obviously define very
different relationships." This aspect of defining relationships through communication,
specifically the command aspect of communication, is rarely done with the full awareness of
the participants. ‘In fact, it seems that the more spontaneous and ‘healthy’ a relationship, the
more the relationship aspect of communication recedes into the background. Conversely,
‘sick’ relationships are characterized by a constant struggle about the nature of the
relationship, with the content aspect of communication becoming less and less important."

In other words, as the old saying goes, it's not what you say – it's how you say it. But how
often we all forget this every day of our lives, and how much grief and misery results, with
each side claiming only the "report" aspect of his words and behavior, oblivious to the
command or relationship-defining aspect.

Patterns In Science And Significance

It is not my intent here to make this chapter a treatise on communication, but to focus on
some aspects of the patterns of human communication that many of us are not aware of. As
Watzlawick, Bavelas and Jackson state, "The search for pattern is the basis of all scientific
investigation. Where there is pattern there is significance – this...maxim also holds true for
the study of human interaction."
The authors quote Bateson again: "...As we go up the scale of orders of learning, we come
into regions of more and more abstract patterning, which are less and less subject to
conscious inspection. The more abstract – the more general and formal the premises upon
which we put our patterns together – the more deeply sunk these are in the neurological or
psychological levels and the less accessible they are to conscious control.

"The habit of dependency is much less perceptible to the individual than the fact that on a
given occasion he obtained help. This he may be able to recognize, but to recognize the next
more complex pattern, that having looked for help, he commonly bites the hand that feeds
him, this may be excessively difficult for him to scan in consciousness."

Digital And Analog Patterns

Another relevant insight from Pragmatics of Human Communication relates to earlier

examples in this book of how the mind works as it processes patterns. "In the central nervous
system the functional units (neurons) receive so-called quantal packages of information
through connecting elements (synapses). Upon arrival at the synapses, these ‘packages’
produce excitatory or inhibitory ... potentials that are summed up by the neuron and either
cause or inhibit its firing. This specific part of neural activity, consisting in the occurrence or
nonoccurrence of its firing, therefore conveys binary digital information. The humoral system
(bodily fluids such as blood, bile and enzymes), on the other hand, is not based on
digitalization of information (firing vs. non-firing). This system communicates by releasing
discrete quantities of specific substances into the bloodstream. It is further known that the
neural and the humoral modes of intraorganismic communication exist not only side by side,
but that they complement and are contingent upon each other, often in highly complex ways."

The authors point out that digital (binary) communication, with its yes-no qualities, tends to
be linear and logical, whereas humoral communication is analogical and controls virtually all
nonverbal communication. Analogic communication includes not only body movements but
also "posture, gesture, facial expression, voice inflection, the sequence, rhythm, and cadence
of the words themselves, and any other nonverbal manifestation of which the organism is
capable, as well as the communicational clues unfailingly present in any context in which an
interaction takes place."

In human communication, then, we have two kinds of patterns: digital (yes-no, true-false, it's
there-it isn't there) and analogical (feelings, movement, expression). Often we try to translate
analogic communication into digital – such as talking about relationships and feelings. This is
inherently difficult.

If you want to learn more about the intricacies of human communication and relationship, I
highly encourage you to read Pragmatics of Human Communication. I have quoted from it at
length here because I feel it does such an excellent job of pointing out some of the
complexities of patterns, and the reasons for those complexities, in human communication.

Refining The Components

Now, let us renumerate the elements of patterns in human communication:

1. The sender
2. The receiver

3. The relationship

4. The context

5. The message

a. Digital (information content)

b. Analogical (relationship content)

6. The medium

7. Transmission of the message

8. Encoding and decoding (always inexact)

9. Feedback

Human communication, including our own internal thoughts, is in many ways the most
complex pattern processing in existence. In our next chapter, we will look at the role of
patterns and order in civilization, including history and the arts.



Social Order and Patterns

Order is extremely important to the structure and maintenance of all human societies. The
higher the level of order a society achieves, the more advanced it tends to become and the
greater its stability. During periods of anarchy and revolution, a society tends to lose its order
and indeed can become chaotic.

Societies have many of the attributes of open systems. They exchange matter and energy with
their environment as they increase their orderliness. Specialization tends to develop. Some
members may be farmers, some hunters, some craftsmen, and so on.
Key to the organization and development of all human societies is the communication
process involving patterns such as words and symbols. This allows the individuals to relate to
one another in the social group, to organize their activities and to pass on learning to
subsequent generations.

Patterns also serve as the common values which bind social groups and as the norms which
express those values. Norms forbidding stealing, killing other members of the group, adultery
and other antisocial forms of behavior are important patterns supporting social stability and

Talcott Parsons in the book The Concept of Order states that "so fundamental is the problem
of order that the structure of systems of human social action, whether they be personality
systems of individuals or social systems, consists of internalized and institutionalized
normative patterns of culture – rules, values, and other normative components." In other
words, order and pattern are the very essence of social organization and function.

Social Order, Energy and Change

While much of the energy in a society may be directed to maintaining order, change is inevitable. Karl Marx believed that "Every
system carries the seeds of its own destruction." The noted German sociologist Max Weber pointed out that this is more true of
traditional societies
which stress always doing things the way they have been done
before. Weber believed that rational societies were organized to achieve goals flexibly and thus were capable
of adjusting to meet the challenge of change.

While some change allows a higher level of order, such as the advent of the railroad system, other change is needed just for
survival. Some American towns whose livelihood depended in the early 1900s on the railroads, for instance, were able to change
their economic base after automobiles, trucks and other forms of transportation became more widespread. Other railroad-

dependent towns which did not adapt either stagnated or declined, and
some vanished.
There is thus always a tension between order and change in practically all social groups, which in many ways represents the
dynamic balance between order and energy characteristic of all living systems. Change is an energetic force that courses through
a social system. The adaptive system restructures its order to cope with the energy of change; those which do not adapt usually

do not survive. Change is inevitable, and some change can lead to higher degrees of order. But too much or
too rapid change can be destructive of order and the social system.

One of the difficulties of modern life is adapting to rapid change. American society is complex
enough that it can absorb a great degree of change without disruption of the social order. But there are
still many Americans whom the system has failed to include adequately. They are "out of order" with
the system. This includes the poor, the homeless, and many angry and rebellious minority youth who
tend to form their own social units in order to survive in a larger society which seems to reject or ignore
them. Their energy, focused primarily on their own survival, tends to turn against the prevailing social order, which they
view as hostile.

Order and Government

The primary purpose of government in society is to maintain order. Government makes the laws (orders) which
determine what citizens may and may not do. Government has the power of force (energy), including the armed forces
and police, which really functions as a threat to those who might disobey the laws. That is, if millions of citizens
disobeyed, the military and police could not control them. Ideally in a democracy, government operates with and reflects
the consent of the governed; order is voluntary. In a dictatorship or military junta, certain kinds of order may be

In order for a government to be effective, the order and patterns in which the leadership invest their energy must be
similar to the order and patterns of the individual citizens. The good of the individual must be aligned with the good of
the state. This requires a high level of communication (pattern exchange) and cooperation.

There is also a psychological dimension to the government-citizen relationship that becomes an internalized pattern like
the parent-child relationship. The "law-abiding" citizen carries within his psyche a pattern of government-reinforced rules
that affects his behavior practically all day long. Talcott Parsons believes "that the most fundamental ground of order in
societies is the internalization of the normative culture in the personalities of its members and the

institutionalization of that in the normative structure of the society."

Moral Order and Legal Order

Society is governed by both moral order and legal order. Although the two have some similarities, there are some
important differences, as noted by Samuel Stumpf in The Concept of
Order. The differences he
cites are more a matter of emphasis than substance, but still
illustrative of important distinctions.
• "...Law commands us to act, whereas in morality we choose to act." We obey laws because we have to; we obey moral
rules because we choose to.

• "...Law is general and abstract, whereas morality is concrete and personal." Laws have to be written to apply to all
citizens "without regard to race, creed or national origin." "This makes the law impersonal and abstract," Stumpf says;
"the officers of the law are made to think in terms of rules and not people.... Morality, on the other hand, stresses
obligations not to rules but to persons."

• "Laws are valid in a particular place, whereas moral rules are able to cross over boundaries." The laws of one state, for
example, do not apply to citizens living in other states. But a moral rule, for example to be honest and to respect others,
applies to all persons who accept it regardless of where they live.
• "...Law is concerned with external conduct, whereas morality is a matter of internal motive." We can judge obedience to
law by a person’s observable behavior, but only the individual can know his or her own motive. Of course sometimes
intent is taken into account when determining the sentence a condemned lawbreaker must serve, but the law itself is
intended to control behavior.

Order and History

History as a discipline may be understood as an effort to perceive order in the past through patterns which exist in the
present. The scholarly historian examines documents, artifacts, letters, paintings, photographs – anything which he might
lay his hands on – to build a perception of the patterns which represented the lives and events under study.

As Eric Voegelin writes in The Concept of Order, in the mid-20th

Century historians discussed "the meaning of history," and now the focus is more on "structure, patterns or
a totality of patterns making the meaning of history." Because history is incomplete, Voegelin says, we can never know
the meaning of history. More accurately, we might say that the meaning of history lies not in past events but in our
present perceptions (perceived patterns) of those events.

Order and Exodus

Throughout recorded history, beginning with the exodus of Abraham from Ur and later with the exodus of the Israelites
from Egypt, the exodus movement has been an important phenomenon of history, Voegelin observes. "Whenever a new
insight into order is gained, there is always the question whether to emigrate from the present order into a situation in
which the new order can become socially dominant and relevant for the society that has gained the insight,"he

A major example of a "new order" in history is the Christian concept of the Kingdom of God. Some see it as a future
event, in which ordinary history or life will be replaced by the rule of God. Others view it not as a future event but as an
escape from earthly burdens and materialism into an experience of present closeness to God. "These, then, are the two

possibilities: escape into eternity or escape into future time," Voegelin

believes. Both "provide fundamental categories for the interpretation of history."
Orders, Empires and Insights

Others have sought to establish order through building empires. The Roman Empire is of course the best known ancient
empire, but others existed in the Middle East, India and China, all about the same time – two centuries B.C. The Persian
Empire and the Empire of Alexander the Great also sought to establish a world order ruled, not by God, but by mighty
armies. And all these empires have fallen in the course of history.
"We now recognize that man is that being who is capable of insight into true order, the order of true existence and of
God, which can only be understood through the orders actually existent in history," Voegelin says. "Only when spiritual
insights are attained does man become defined
as that being who receives his orders
through existence from God."
"Every prophet, every philosopher, every enlightened person like a Buddha, a Confucius, a Lao-Tse with his doctrine of
Tao, the Way, comes as an element of disorder in his society, because he has received an insight into the true order,
which is different from the established order, Voegelin continues. "Thus every new insight into order is the beginning of
a revolution of more or less considerable dimensions."

Order, History and Being

When we speak of the various configurations of history, Voegelin points out, we should keep in mind that there is no
difference between patterns such as "configurations" and "history." "Insofar as we have history, we have it only to the
extent that we can discern such patterns. The
patterns are thus identical with history."
In a similar vein, the "who" of history is not mankind, he believes, for the movements of history have certainly not
affected all mankind equally. "Mankind does not exist, and cannot be

the subject of history. It is not an empirical object. This would

suggest, therefore, that ultimately the subject can only be Being in the
most general sense, Being itself...."
Personally, I do not find the concept of Being at all helpful in understanding history. Being was a favorite concept of the
existentialists in Post-War Europe, and it means little more than existence. The problem with Being is the problem of
differentiation – all things that exist have Being, and we cannot say that some things have more Being than others.

I believe instead, as I said earlier, that history represents the attempts of individuals to impose or find patterns of order in
the past by examining remnants of the past in the present. "History" does not exist except as information and
communication about past events. By understanding the past, in some ways we can better understand the present and
predict the future. History is a manifestation of the brain’s pattern-processing and search for order by attempting to find
meaning in the past. Like many other of humanity’s pursuits, it will always be tinged with uncertainty.

Patterns, Challenge and Response

This very aspect of unpredictability in human affairs was addressed by the great historian
Arnold Toynbee
in terms of "challenge and response." Human behavior cannot be
understood as completely predetermined cause and effect because humans have some degree of free will or
choice, Toynbee reasons. Hegel and Marx saw history in terms of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, but Toynbee considers
that view "in a rather limited intellectual form." He acknowledges that his concept of challenge and response, which
includes "the emotional and volitional side of human action" better than Marx and Hegel’s, is rooted, like so many
Western notions of history, in the Old Testament.

"God challenges Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, He challenges Noah to build the Ark
before the flood comes,... He challenged Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.... The challenged individual is
free, free of course at his peril,... to refuse to
do what God asks of him."
How do we reconcile our perceptions of patterns in the past through history with the unpredictability of human events
due to free choice? Toynbee answers, "I would say that the element of pattern in human life that is revealed by our
records of the past is genuine, though it is not the dominant element in life. The dominant element is, I think, the
unpredictability of the future, and this arises, I believe, from the fact that there is a genuine thing called freedom of

Order And The Arts

Turning from history to the arts, we find many aspects of order and pattern in all the arts.
Music is perhaps the best example, whereby different notes have an order conforming to the
principles of physics. Beautiful music allows an experience of almost pure order and pattern.
We sense both digital and analogical communication in music. Some music almost replicates
sensory data, such as drops of rain falling or the rush of the wind. Some is more suggestive of
emotions, such as the beautiful "Tristan and Isolde." Indeed, music’s capacity to move the
emotions is due perhaps in large part to the analogical nature of music. Even when it is
digitally recorded, its digitizing is so minute that we hear it and experience it rising and
falling analogically like our emotions.

The visual arts deal largely with patterns. Realistic paintings and drawings evoke patterns
similar to those we see with our own eyes, although all great painters add an interpretive
aspect to their art that represents their own pattern perception. Abstract painting can evoke a
wide range of responses due to its ambiguity. It does have patterns – spots and shapes, colors
and lines and curves – but we experience them as pure pattern, like music, suggestive but not
literal, affecting our thinking as well as our feelings. Often the average person has difficulty
appreciating abstract art. He or she tends to project literal patterns into the art that are not
there, patterns from his or her own mind and memory. Observing and appreciating abstract
art is a learned skill requiring one to hold the mind’s powerful pattern-recognition tendencies
at bay.

Dance is very orderly, with movements carefully patterned to evoke a particular effect. Like
other art forms, it can be both abstract and suggestive or concrete and explicit. Often
accompanied by music, dance unites the human form with music and rhythm for a powerful
gestalt that is greater than the sum of the parts.

These are just suggestions of the role of order and pattern in the arts. All are forms of
communication, sometimes with an effect very calculated, and sometimes with a quality of
unpredictability that plays on each observer’s pattern "library" differently.

Order and Civilization

Social order, government, history, the arts and other institutions and developments combine
to make the broad phenomenon we call civilization. In one sense, specific civilizations like
the Aztecs and the Roman Empire rise and fall. In another sense, civilization is an on-going
movement of increasing order in the world. Civilization is like a huge system in that it
involves many parts interacting in an interdependent balance.

What is the cause of civilization? To some degree, it is mankind’s desire for order and power.
Individual leaders such as kings and conquerors sought greater power and wealth by
controlling ever more lands under their rule. But often people have submitted to the rule
(orders) of others as a more desirable alternative to chaos or constant warring and death from
rival tribes.

In today’s world, the force of human freedom is bringing democracy to ever more nations.
The power of technology is breaking down barriers and creating what Marshall McLuhan
called the global village. The power of the world economy is forcing isolated countries to
trade peacefully with others. Economic boycotts are used more often than armed intervention
by the United Nations countries to bring about change in a recalcitrant nation. The world is
becoming ever more civilized – sometimes with disruptions and fallbacks, but in totality,
moving forward – with the increase of order. President George Bush spoke in the early 1990s
of a "New World Order." This is the dream of all civilized people – a world order which
allows us to live in peace and harmony with our neighbor nations. I believe this hunger for
order was placed in us by God, and I believe that someday the world will have greater order
than we can imagine today.

It is interesting that the concept of order in civilization has been tied by leading historians and
others to a relationship to God. We have touched on this subject many times in this book. In
our next chapter, it becomes our focus.



Order And Pattern In Primitive Religion

All religion may be understood as a manifestation of mankind's instinctive longing for order
as a means of aligning human life with a transcendent deity. Before I attempt to explain my
views of order, energy and God in contemporary religion, let us look briefly at the history of

As we have noted earlier, prehistoric records such as cave drawings indicate that hunting
tribes sought power through animal images (patterns), and agricultural groups sought to win
the favor of the god of the fertile harvest or the "earth mother." As Joseph Kitagawa states in
The Concept Of Order , "...it is our intention to suggest that the ultimate purpose of life was
understood by the archaic and primitive men as participation in the act of creation of a
‘cosmos’ out of ‘chaos’ by imitating the celestial model, handed down in various kinds of

Both myth and ritual were very important elements of primitive religion, and both can be
seen as powerful patterns that sought to portray the order of the world and of life as these
primitive peoples understood it. "By imitating the mythical accounts of supernatural beings,"
Kitagawa points out, "archaic and primitive men repeat and participate in the primordial act
of creating cosmos out of chaos, and this implies establishing and maintaining norms and
forms as well as order".

Order In Classical Eastern Religions

Civilizations in Eastern lands, from Egypt to China, 2000-4000 years B.C., advanced beyond
primitive man's unitary worldview to separate myth and more rational explanations of world
events. Near Eastern man "recognized the problem of origin and the problem of telos, of the
aim and purpose of being. He recognized the invisible order of justice maintained by his
customs, mores, institutions; and he connected this invisible order with the visible order, with
its succession of days and nights, seasons and years, obviously maintained by the sun."

Buddhism is not called that by its practitioners; rather, they use the term "Dharma" or
"Dhamma," an ancient Sanskrit term very similar to our word "order." Edward Conze quotes
a Pali-English Dictionary which defines "dhamma as the interpreted Order of the World," and
says that what the Buddha preached "was the order of law of the universe, immanent, eternal,
uncreated... this universal logic, philosophy or righteousness ("Norm"), in which the rational
and ethical elements are fused into one."

Kitagawa adds, "...in the classical religions the structure of religious groups as well as their
relations to sociopolitical order were believed to be based on, and sanctioned by, the cosmic
order, whether it was understood to exist above the gods as in Hinduism or under a divine
being as in the Judeo-Christian tradition."

God And The Supernatural In Contemporary Religion

One of the major problems contemporary people have accepting the traditionally-taught
concept of God is that it involves belief in the supernatural. This essentially requires
acceptance of two realms of reality – the natural and the supernatural. As the concept goes,
we experience the world around us with our natural senses, but we experience God with our
soul or spirit.

While this might be quite acceptable for the average person, for the philosopher this creates
the problem of dualism: if there are dual realities, how can one interact with the other? If God
is a supernatural Being, how can He have any influence on the natural world? (By using the
pronoun He, I am only using it as a convenience, for I do not believe God has a male or
female gender – that is another implicit form of dualism and also a real problem for many
people who believe in the equality of the sexes.)

One Reality Of Order And Energy With God

As we have pointed out in many parts of this book, from subatomic particles to the human
brain, everything is composed of order and energy. In the system of Theordergy, order is the
medium through which God acts to differentiate energy into matter, and one form of matter
from another. The supernatural is thus superfluous.

Order exists not only as a state of being but also as a process of becoming. This has the same
meaning as speaking of ongoing Creation. God's creation of all existence is being
accomplished through the ongoing creation and evolution of ever-higher forms of order.

Again I urge you to think of order in terms of patterns of probability. God is not the Great
Mechanic of Isaac Newton's world who sets everything in motion with completely
determined certainty for all eternity. Order includes an element of unpredictability; at many
levels of existence, from the subatomic to the interpersonal and beyond, existence includes
uncertainty. It may be true that God parted the Red Sea, turned Moses' staff into a snake, and
raised Jesus from the dead. And it may be true, as some Christians believe, that God still
causes or allows "miracles" such as miraculous healing that represent a change or break in the
"natural" order. But life as I have experienced it for a half century is always, constantly,
relentlessly, unchangingly orderly... tinged by uncertainty, by patterns of probability.

By the subheading, "One reality of order and energy with God," I mean that there is one
world for our worldview, one universe. Order and God are every bit as real and as "natural"
as energy and matter. It is no longer necessary to believe in a separate "supernatural" reality,
because order is the medium that connects energy (and matter) with God. This is very
important to understand.

God, Order And Unpredictability

God acts in the world, first through the order of on-going creation, and second through
influencing the unpredictable. Many things happen to all of us that are unpredictable. Every
day of the year, people die in auto accidents, and usually one of the drivers was operating his
vehicle safely, minding his or her own business, when the driver of another vehicle lost
control (often because of alcohol) and crashed into the innocent victim.

A nail in the car tire, a broken TV set, a random piece of glass in a jar of food, a chance
meeting of two people on the street or in a restaurant, a seed which happens to sprout in a
sidewalk crack, a child born retarded, and much of what happens in our lives is both orderly
and unpredictable, order tinged with uncertainty.

I am not, emphatically NOT saying that God causes all unpredictable events, as some people
believe. I am saying that God INFLUENCES events through unpredictable conditions as it
suits His will and purposes for on-going creation. God does not take away unpredictability –
on the contrary, God himself is often unpredictable – orderly but uncertain. Whether or not
God knows the outcome and future of all events for all eternity is a moot point – we cannot
know the limits of God's knowledge. But we can experience life and its meaning. And as I
experience life, it is both orderly and unpredictable, and God seems to act within that order
and unpredictability.

God And Nature

We have so far defined God as the on-going Creator who acts in the world through order and
unpredictability. If this was all God did, He might not be a God worth worshiping. We all
have experienced the vicissitudes of life painfully. We have experienced accidents and
disasters and losses that hurt.

It is possible to perceive the world of nature as a beautiful, marvelous creation that points to a
caring God. For certainly the beauty of a sunset, a flower, a butterfly, a rainbow, a waterfall,
a swan, almost any baby animal – and much, much more in nature – seems so beautiful that it
inspires awe within us, a sense of "surely God has created this." But it is also possible to
experience the "cruelties" of nature – earthquakes, hurricanes, forest fires, disease, AIDS,
cancer, poisonous snakes – and feel that life is cruel, that "Life’s a bitch, and then you die."
Although nature taken as a whole may seem to reflect a loving God, specific instances of
nature seem to contradict that reflection.

The Increasing Order Of Creation

The Creation story of Genesis is a story of God bringing order to the universe, a universe that
began with chaos – "the earth was without form [order] and void." From fundamental forms
of order like the earth and the seas, God moved to the highest form of order in life: human
beings. And the world continues to evolve! Individuals form families, and families form
societies, which form nations. The complexity of world order continues to increase, until it
becomes impossible for the Soviet Union to continue in isolation. They are forced by
increasing order to join the world community!

The Bible tells us that God first communicated His will for mankind through laws and
commands (that is, through orders) and through demonstrating His providence (orderliness)
to the people of Israel. These moral laws, like the Ten Commandments, of course were all
"orders" (commands) and patterns for living. But they were not enough to fully reveal a
loving God.

The Necessity For Jesus

The only way God could show His full love and purpose for mankind was to communicate
through a unique pattern, His own pattern. So God became a man in the form of Jesus Christ.
The God of the Old Testament may be dependable and orderly. But only the God of the New
Testament reveals that "God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that the world
through Him might be saved."

Jesus did not tell us that the world is no longer unpredictable. Jesus did not tell us that, if we
follow Him, we will be spared pain. On the contrary, He said, "Take up your cross and follow
me." Jesus never denied the reality of pain and suffering – on the contrary, He spoke of it
often, and eventually suffered the terrible agony of death on the cross.

But Jesus told us that nevertheless, nevertheless, in spite of the pain of living and dealing
with unpredictability and death, God loves us. The ultimate meaning of the order of the
universe is that it was created and is ruled by a loving God. "Nothing can separate us from the
love of God in Christ Jesus."

Faith in God through Jesus Christ enables one to trust in God's love and to transcend all
earthly pain and to experience true joy in living. As a Christian one can experience life in all
its glory, its highest order. As a Christian one can understand the true meaning of existence.
This is not a statement about the supernatural. This is a statement about the one reality.

A New Understanding Of The Purpose Of Life

If everything that exists is composed of energy, order and God, what does that say about our
lives? That the purpose of our lives, with God's guidance, is to order our energy in a God-like
(Christ-like) pattern.

Too often we think of ourselves and other human beings as physical objects, bodies. But we
are dynamically ordered energy systems! We eat food to have energy. How we use our
energy writes the story of our lives. Each of us has a finite amount of energy (some have
more than others, it seems, but no one has unlimited energy).

How do we order our energy? By making choices, decisions. Will I use my energy in the next
hour to read, to exercise, to eat, to make love, to watch TV, to care for the downtrodden, to
worship God, or what? Hours make days, and days make years, and years make a lifetime.
The very essence of functioning as a live human being is to make choices, to decide, which is
itself an exercising of our freedom to create a certain order in our lives and the lives of others
we encounter.

Choosing is the fulfillment of our humanity. It can be very exciting and positive, even if
agonizing over a decision before we make it is sometimes painful. For the Christian, Jesus
Christ is the model (pattern) for all our decisions. Jesus, and God's word revealed through the
Bible and through our own experiences, can guide us to make choices, to order our energy
most effectively.

Order Means Choices Have Consequences

Every choice has consequences, some of which we cannot know. This is an important aspect
of the order of human existence. We all know the old story about the king who lost a war for
want of a nail for his horse's shoe. Little things can have major consequences.

I have filed away as patterns in my brain, as I'm sure you do, single-sentence comments from
people in my past, especially significant people like family members and teachers, which
became a permanent part of the big pattern that is my self-concept. Those remarks were often
made casually at the time, but they became a permanent part of who I am.

In the same way, what we say and do to other people every day becomes a part of their lives.
For parents, this is an enormous responsibility in communicating with children by word and
by behavior. For all of us, this presents the opportunity to help make other people's lives
brighter and more uplifting every day.

As we face the future, we face the unknown and uncertainty. But as we look into the past,
with "20-20 hindsight," we can see the consequences of our actions, sometimes positively,
sometimes negatively. We can see the power of order in our lives and the lives we touch.
Making the right choices is an enormous responsibility. God never removes that
responsibility from us, but He does help us make better choices than we can make without
The Tragedy Of Naive Science

As we have said earlier, it is commonly thought that "science" and therefore the only
"dependable knowledge" has determined that the world is made of matter and energy in space
and time. This naive science is taught in our public schools and penetrates our entire culture.
We may speak of God or the supernatural in church or among our families, but our secular
society accepts only the notion of a science-analyzed world of matter and energy in a space-
time continuum.

This is perhaps the greatest misunderstanding ever perpetrated on the human race! Although
religion is on the rise among some evangelicals and charismatics, many of the mainstream
denominations are waning, and surely this is one of the reasons. The world communicated to
us by the mass media and by all that people say and do at least six days out of every week is
dominated by this naive-science worldview. It's almost as if we believed the world is flat and
we could all fall off the edge. This is one reason I believe the world desperately needs a new
understanding of reality, an understanding that transcends naive science as it transcends the
weekday world, and confronts us with the meaning of life as a challenge to change the way
we live.

There are many scientists who marvel at creation and acknowledge a Creator God. They and
many other educated people know that science is only a system, a tool for dealing with the
world, a tool which does not claim to include "ultimate reality." But the average person on
the street does not realize this. At least, most of us live as if we did not realize this.

The Limits of Science and Sense

In fact science and common sense cannot answer many questions. Questions about the
meaning of life, about why things happen as they do. Too many unanswered questions can
lead to confusion and despair, to a sense of emptiness and meaninglessness. Even the answers
of traditional religion are not satisfactory for many of us. Most people in contemporary
society do not seem to spend much time wondering about the meaning of life. They live on
the surface of life, on what appears in front of them, trying to get a little pleasure or escape
some pain. Millions tragically turn to drug addiction, alcohol addiction, work addiction, sex
addiction and other compulsive and self-destructive habits to make the pain go away.

Of course you have a choice. You can go on believing that there is "nothing but" matter,
energy, space and time, although this will never account for how the "laws of science" or
"nature" are possible. The same naive science that claims that life forms evolved from chaotic
matter and energy over many eons, all by chance (!), also claims that out of this chaos these
"laws of nature" mysteriously appeared to control our world. Who believes this nonsense?
Certainly not educated scientists. Yet this is the "myth," the great "mythunderstanding" that
underlies our entire culture, daily life in the world today.

Millions of contemporary people, believing their grade-school science to be "true," do not

relate to God in their daily lives, even though public opinion polls consistently show that
most people claim to "believe in God." This lack of daily relationship with God is a terrible
tragedy. For these same people cannot explain why there is any orderliness in the universe at
all, yet they behave as if they believe the world is dependably orderly in many ways.
They drive cars at high speeds down highways. They use electrical appliances that could kill
them if they malfunctioned. They fly in airplanes. They come home at the end of the day
expecting their residence to be exactly where it was when they left it. They turn on the TV
and expect to find regular programming. They set their alarm clocks to wake them in the
morning. They lie down on beds and expect them to support their bodies. When you think
about it closely, practically every move you make and every breath you take is based on the
implicit assumption of an orderly world. Either order is real or it is not real. If it is not real,
why do people behave as if it is?

Order is not only real — it is the cause of everything being the way it is. "Everything" begins
with raw energy, chaos. Energy is "tamed" into orderly forms like electromagnetic radiation,
light and heat. Energy is "slowed down" by the speed of light squared into matter. Matter is
given form as elements, molecules, molecular chains, cells, organisms and so forth. Order is
"the fingerprint of God" that shapes the world. But order is not mechanical! It is probabilistic,
uncertain. Within that uncertainty is human freedom. And within that uncertainty God acts
unpredictably in the world. At the same time God is creating the world through the evolution
of order.

The Opportunity Of Embracing Order

You have the great opportunity to embrace the concept of order as the primary binding-force
of the universe. Order accounts for all those "whys" and "laws" as well as how God acts in
the world. And all this order is for mankind, for God so loved the world that He sent His only
Son into the world, that the world through Him might be saved. The universe is not ruled by
just any order, not ruled by a machine, but by a loving God. This joyful, liberating concept
can change your worldview and your life if you accept it.



Disorder As Perception

There is great similarity in thought behind these two questions:

If everything is controlled by order, how can there be disorder?

And, if God is good, how can there be evil?

For both disorder and evil are subjective human perceptions based on personal experience.
If you go into a child's room and find toys and clothes and trash all over the floor and the bed
in a mess, you are likely to say, "This room is disorderly" (or something worse). But the room
is orderly in that it is exactly the way the child left it. In fact, the child may prefer it that way
because he or she perceives a certain special order. The room is orderly in that the bed is not
flying around the room, the clothes are not bursting into flame, the toys are not crashing into
each other without any apparent cause.

Disorder refers to a lower degree of order than we would expect or want, not the complete
absence of order. In a similar manner, evil results from behavior that is lower-order, more
animal-like and less Christ-like.

As we mentioned in our discussion of chaos in the chapter on patterns, even something

turbulent like the weather or water in the ocean is actually moving at a very complex level of
order. It just requires a high level of mathematics or computer power to perceive or quantify
that order.

So in one case we have less order than we can perceive, in another we have more complex
order than we can perceive, but it both cases, order is very much in force, even though both
could be called by some observers "disorderly."

A complete lack of order would be inconceivable. Not only would there be no physical
objects, there would not even be energy in the form of visible light or electromagnetic
radiation. Order has been a component of existence since the very beginning of the universe.

Evil As A Matter Of Perception

To turn to the problem of evil, it seems that the perception of evil is also highly subjective, a
matter of degree, and a major reason some people do not believe in God or do not attempt to
live in accordance with His will (order). This is most often true of people who have been hurt
by tragedy.

A promising young student athlete dies in a car wreck.

A devoted young mother dies of cancer.

A little child runs excitedly out of church and into the street, where she is killed by a car.

An earthquake kills thousands of poor villagers.

A hurricane destroys homes and the lives of people on what was once a peaceful island.

The list, like news headlines, goes on and on. Tragic death is a fact of everyday life.

Then there are those other cases in which amazing exceptions occur.

A baby born with a damaged heart and given little hope of surviving is suddenly healed and
doctors are baffled.

The top of an airplane rips off at high altitude; a few passengers are swept away to their
deaths, but most survive, and the plane miraculously is brought to a landing on the runway.
A man with a crippling disease is healed in a religious revival, throws away his crutches and
walks free.

A woman watching television hears a bullet crash through a window and lodge in the wall
only inches from her head.

These amazing escapes are also the subject of news stories around the world.

The Mystery Of Life And Death

How is it that God seems to heal or save some, while others die, even when many people are
praying for those dying people to live? How can you convince parents who have lost a child
to a senseless accident that God is still a good God?

How do you account for the fact that a "fine young boy," raised by loving Christian parents,
for no apparent reason goes on a "joyride" and kills an elderly couple?

The closer one comes to such tragedies, especially those that end in the untimely death of a
loved one, the more difficult it is for some to continue believing in a loving God.

In some cases, such as the extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis, evil seems all too
real. Many people believe the devil or some power of evil is indeed real. The Bible says that
the devil is real. Almost all people have experienced the temptation to do something for
personal satisfaction that will or might harm others, and many consider this to be temptation
by the devil – "the devil made me do it!"

Is Sin Our Natural State?

Sometimes it seems that it is much more difficult to keep people on a good track, doing the
right thing, than it is to let them go on the wrong track, doing evil things. This has led many
believers, including Biblical writers, to believe that sin is man's "natural" state, and only
through God's grace can we be saved from sin. How do we reconcile this belief with the idea
that nothing exists except order, energy and God? In a real sense, the problem of evil is the
biggest challenge to the order-energy-God concept which we call Theordergy.

Each of us has to wrestle with the problem of evil for himself or herself. It is a very serious
problem, the dark side of life and human existence. I can only tell you how I have resolved it,
in hopes that you might find my resolution helpful in your own authentic search.

Evil And Order

I believe that the experience of evil is, first of all, the experience of the order which rules the
world being at cross purposes with our own will.

All natural disasters are functions of an orderly world. All death results from functions of an
orderly world. As children and even as praying adults we may wish that God would save us
from the consequences of order in the world. But as mature adults, it is possible to accept that
the world is so orderly that people and other living things get killed sometimes, that pain and
death come to all of us – it's just a matter of when it comes.
Disease occurs when organisms such as bacteria or viruses infect the body. The progress of a
disease in a body is a very orderly process, one life form against another. Usually the body's
orderly defenses are strong enough to overcome invasions by disease organisms. Sometimes
the invaders win.

Evil, Order And Personal Tragedy

Personal tragedies such as murder or rape seem senseless, evil. Why are people made in such
a way that they can do such things to other people? Because the same orderly function of the
human mind and emotions which can work for health, under unfavorable circumstances leads
to a channeling of energy toward the destruction of others. I cannot say with total certainty,
but I can say that every case of assault I have heard or read about was perpetrated by an
individual who either had a disturbed childhood or a disturbed mental-emotional functioning.
I have never heard of a case where a person who was loved and treated with respect as a child
by his or her parents became antisocial and assaultive unless (a) other people such as peers or
influential adults infected him or her with anger or hate, or (b) the person had a genetically
defective or otherwise damaged central nervous system.

In every case, I believe, where a person intentionally harms another person, the perpetrator
was harmed earlier in life, either traumatically or chronically or both.

Remember, too, that order is not mechanically perfect. Order is probabilistic, tinged with
uncertainty. There is always room for error. For example, a genetic defect can cause a child
to be born with a defective brain that causes him to be antisocial or unable to control his
anger. More and more human problems such as alcoholism and schizophrenia are being
analyzed in terms of genetic variations from the norm.

Evil And Lower Order

There is no question in my mind that we mortals have an attraction to evil and sin that
represents a lower order of our existence. We can live at the bodily level of existence and
seek physical pleasures, even if it means long-term harm to ourselves and others. The story of
Satan’s beginnings as a fallen angel serves as a metaphor for humanity’s fall from closeness
to God to an absorption in pleasures of the flesh. This temptation is always with us since we
continue to live in our bodies. At our lowest level of order we are only smart animals, capable
of very crude behavior. By God’s grace we can rise to our highest level of order, an on-going
close relationship with Him that provides us with a correct perspective on the rest of life and
on our relationships with other human beings. In this sense evil is indeed real. We may even
experience a Satanic pull to participate in evil. But such evil is never the last word, never the
ultimate reality. The ultimate reality is that we are always free to accept God’s offer of love
and forgiveness through Jesus Christ, which leads to a deeper and purer joy than any physical

The Order Of Your Life-Path

It is possible to accept that pain, disaster and death are really functions of an orderly world. If
your body crosses the path of a speeding bullet or automobile or other high-mass, high-
energy object, you are likely to be hurt or killed. You can be careful and attempt to avoid
such collisions, but you cannot be 100 percent careful and still lead a normal life. Life is
fraught with risk.
If the world were not orderly, people would suffer pain, disaster and death for no apparent
cause. What a miserable world this would be if that were so! You'd be walking down the
street or sitting in your chair, minding your own business, when suddenly for no apparent
reason you would scream out in pain and die.

Even the Jews who suffered so horribly in the Holocaust knew all too well what the cause of
their suffering was. An entire nation had become infected with a sickness rooted in repressed
anger and hate, and the Jews became the scapegoats.

The Probability Of Long Life

In spite of pain and suffering and death, most people in the Western World by the "laws"
(order) of probability can expect to live past 70. As civilization achieves ever higher levels of
order, life expectancies are advanced. The probability aspect of order means that human
existence for each of us has a dimension of uncertainty that cannot be 100 percent predicted.
But most of us will make it through many decades of life.

My father died in his early 20s because he refused to accept the reality (order) of the illness
of nephritis, which is normally curable. Instead of accepting doctor's orders for plenty of bed
rest, he tried to deny the illness, overexerted himself, and brought himself an orderly but early

My stepfather died in his early 50s after his alcoholism (probably a genetically inherited
weakness) caused him to lose his job and his self-respect, plunging him into despair which
eventually led to death from cancer.

But my mother, a sensible woman past 70 with the energy of someone 50, has always been
devoted to God and had a spirit of optimism, has survived the loss of two husbands, married a
third time, and will probably outlive him as well.

Now this is not to say that God saves those who follow His will and lets others die. The early
Christians who were killed for sport by their Roman captors certainly were not saved from
death in spite of fervent faith. I know of no objective study that shows a definite correlation
between faith in God and longevity, although there does seem to be some correlation between
Christian faith and recovery from disease. And even if there is an above-average probability
that devoted Christians will live longer than average, there are still millions of cases where
fine Christians die young and selfish atheists live to ripe old ages.

The Pain Of Orderly Existence

What I am saying is this. Most of the pain, suffering and death that humans experience are
consequences of living in an orderly world. The experience of evil is the experience of
encountering a threatening aspect of order that is contrary to our own wants or will. And why
God allows some people to live while others die can be explained partly by the orderliness of
reality, partly by the uncertainty aspect of probability, and partly by the unfathomable
mystery of God.
The love of God, epitomized by Jesus' death and resurrection, is the great "nevertheless" that
gives order and meaning to life in the face of evil, pain and suffering. "Neither death nor life,
principalities or powers can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus."

Life is not perfectly wonderful, but it is mostly wonderful. Life is not 100 percent good, but
is is highly-probably good for most of us.

Life Is Difficult

As Scott Peck said in the opening lines of his immensely popular book, The Road Less
Traveled (Touchstone Books, 1978):

"Life is difficult.

"This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see
this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand
and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is
difficult no longer matters."

Life is difficult because the orderliness of life means that threatening objects and people cross
our life-path periodically. You get in the way of a steamroller and you get flattened. Maybe
you wanted to cross that road, but the steamroller was on a path that crossed yours, and it is
bigger than you are. Or maybe you get hit by a random bullet because you just happen to be
in the path of that bullet.

Life is orderly and unpredictable. Once we understand that and accept that fact, life does not
appear evil or threatening. Once we strive to order our lives through a dynamic relationship
with God, once we put our trust in the love of God expressed in the life of Jesus, we achieve a
higher order, a transcendent order, and we look for opportunities to grow stronger and wiser.

Advancing Through Adversity

Atlanta minister Charles Stanley once preached a series of radio sermons on "Advancing
Through Adversity." Dr. Stanley used a metaphor of God as a great sculptor who uses
adversity to chisel away the fragments of life we do not need, revealing the true self that was
hidden inside the marble.

Sometimes, Stanley said, God takes away physical things such as money that we have grown
too attached to, so that we may be reminded of the need to be attached only to God. If you
have experienced financial loss through an economic depression or recession, perhaps you
can appreciate this insight even more.

Whether adversity or difficulty or pain is caused directly by God, or indirectly by the

movements of His orderly universe, does not really matter. Whenever we encounter such
adversity, we can use it as an opportunity to strengthen our character and our commitment to
God. We can transcend it because we know it is not the last word. God has the last word.
"Life is difficult." "Nevertheless.... Nevertheless.... Neither life nor death, principalities or
powers can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus."

Use Order To Deal With Problems

When you encounter a problem, whether it is as simple as a burned-out light bulb or as
profound as the death of a loved one, keep in mind that you are experiencing an orderly
world. Your life is a pathway through that world, and it will surely cross the paths of other
people and things moving at cross-purposes. When such a problem occurs, ask yourself,
"What order is present here? What order appears to have caused this problem? Is there
anything I can do to order my behavior to undo or alleviate this problem? If there is
something, I will do it. If there is nothing, I will accept that."

Trusting in God's order and His benevolent will, will enable us to follow the truth of the
Serenity Prayer:

"May God grant me the strength to change the things that I can change, the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change, and the wisdom to know the difference."

That is about as realistic as a prayer can be in this orderly world... tinged with uncertainty.



Although "daily life" is a rather complex subject and quite a leap from order and energy as
the fundamental building blocks of the universe, I want to explore it here in hopes of making
this book as useful as possible to you the reader.

Ordering One's Time

Time management is a thriving business in America today. Entire companies prosper by

providing a variety of time management services and products such as seminars, executive
counseling, scheduling books, project management materials, software programs and much
more. The timekeeping notebook has become an executive status symbol, and the 8 1/2 by 11
inch date book with one page or more per day is a subtle way of saying, "I am so in control
that I keep tabs over every minute of my day."

Of course people who carry around only tiny date books, or none at all, may accomplish far
more than the highly-organized executives. You can't judge someone by the size of the date
book he carries, for sure.

My point is, ordering one's time is only part of the job. Ordering one's energy is what is really
important. For order and energy are indeed the building-blocks of everything in the universe.

A Dynamic Energy System

The human being is a dynamic energy system. Just give it a little food and water and it is
amazing what it can do! And what does it do? It converts food into energy and uses that
energy to move, work and act in the world. It can accomplish in one second with a
tremendous burst of energy more than it can accomplish in hours of unfocused dawdling.
When we get down to how we use our energy, we get down to our will-power.

Each of us has a finite amount of energy. Though some people seem to have much more
energy than the rest of us, no one’s energy is unlimited. Muscles and minds, backs and feet
and eyes get tired and need a rest. So it is very important how we use our energy, or to be
more specific, how we order our energy. At the same time, it is important to realize also what
a tremendous resource our energy is, and to cultivate that energy responsibly.

Ordering Your Energy

Have you thought of your daily life in terms of how you order your energy? Let's look at a
few examples.

Let us call that upon which we focus our energy the object of our energy. Now this object
may be another person, a spouse or friend; it may be ourselves; it may be God; it may be our
job or our home, our boat or our yard, our wealth or sex or any number of things. The
problem that many of us mortals face is that our energy is out of order.

An illustrative example is the physician whose wife works hard to put him though med
school, then when he graduates and completes his internship and opens his practice, he places
her way down on his priority list, his order of energy list. For this "out of order" doctor, his
patients come first, then his medical practice, then his reputation, then his income, then his
family, then his wife. This is not meant to condemn physicians as a whole – the same could
be said of many different occupational groups.

This relegating of one's spouse to a lower level of order and energy is one of the prime causes
of divorce today, whereby half of all marriages end. It is not done consciously in most cases,
but it is done all the same by many people.

A different example is the shrewd business executive who carefully plans, bides her time, and
executes one deal, working only a few hours, yet earning much more than the 60-hour-a-
week frenzied small business owner. The shrewd executive has learned to focus her energy
on those things with the biggest payoff. She does not feel compelled to work long hours
because she knows intuitively that her challenge is not to fill her time but to order her energy
on the things that matter most.

A Society Obsessed With Time

We are speaking somewhat of the difference between quality and quantity here. Our whole
society is so time-fixated, so intent on cramming in as much experience or productivity as
possible during our waking hours, that we often don't stop to ask ourselves, "Why am I doing
this?" The old 80-20 rule, that 80 percent of the value comes from 20 percent of the work, is
often true.

How bad is it? It's so bad that many people feel guilty if they don't stay busy. They are driven
by an obsession to be busy. But busyness is not the same thing as good business. The more
we can prioritize our options, the more we can focus our energy on the things that matter

Ordering Energy With God

For the Christian, the primary focus of one's energy is following God's will. What does this
mean in daily life?

It means living prayerfully, not just before bedtime or upon waking, but in frequent prayerful
communication with God. This prayer does not have to be spoken or even thought out in
words – it's more a matter of being constantly aware of God's presence and reflecting on His
will, as He has revealed it to us, and as He continues to reveal it to us, whenever we make
choices or decisions.

It means following Jesus’ life as the Great Pattern for all human life, loving others and living
in truth and authenticity.

It means living in God's love, which enables us to share that love with others we encounter in
our daily lives. This includes our selves – not indulging ourselves, but truly loving our selves
("me") in a responsible caring way. Jesus said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" –
not "more than yourself," but "as yourself", equally. [I am indebted to Dr. Robert E. Johnston,
a pastoral counselor and psychotherapist, for some of these concepts on the priority of care.]

Ordering Energy For Others

After God and one's self, who comes next in order of energy? Your immediate family, and if
you are married, your spouse above all others. To live a life in order, your spouse comes
before all other human beings. Your marriage was intended to last a lifetime. Much as you
love and sacrifice for your children, they will grow up and leave you and "become one flesh"
with their own spouses in most cases. Caring for your wife or husband is like caring for
yourself – for you two have become "one flesh" and are highly interdependent. One of the
best ways to make your own life happier is to focus some vital energy on the well-being of
your spouse, every day.

Next comes the rest of your immediate family, then other people to whom you are closely
related by blood, marriage or life.
Now, finally, you can begin to put your job or business in proper order. That is how you keep
it in perspective, as second to your family. Of course working responsibly in your job is one
way that you are able to take care of your family. No one is suggesting that you should
necessarily quit your job or become an undependable employee. We're just saying, order your
energy carefully – keep your priorities in order.

It can be very enlightening to write a priority list of all the things and people you give your
energy to – first as you have been using your energy, then as you believe you should use your
energy according to your values and beliefs. Be honest with yourself – no one else has to see
your list.

Caring For Our Energy System

Appreciating the importance of our personal energy, we should also devote some of our
energy to keeping our energy system in good order. This requires adequate sleep, good
nutrition, regular exercise and healthy mental stimulation. An experience of psychotherapy
can also be beneficial for many people (almost everyone, in my opinion). This is because
much of our potential energy in adulthood is tied up in our subconscious defenses and
internal conflicts. Only by freeing those bonds which go all the way back to childhood can
we experience our full, true energy power.

The "well behaved" woman, for example, may have learned in childhood not to express her
feelings of anger. Yet the treatment she receives from her spouse and her boss incite angry
feelings, which she represses in her subconscious. Repression of this kind, especially of
strong feelings such as anger, can tie up a great deal of personal energy and lead to
depression or psychosomatic illnesses or both.

In addition to psychotherapy, it is also possible to have some of these "energy blocks"

eliminated by strong religious faith. I know a successful evangelist who can function for days
on only a few hours sleep, give lengthy sermons outdoors in stifling heat and humidity, travel
around the world and deal with complex decisions with an energy level that seems
superhuman. Even though I do not share all this evangelist’s beliefs, it is obvious that his
constant closeness to God is the source of his tremendous energy, whether or not he has any
subconscious energy blocks.

Energy turned in against ourselves in our subconscious can have devastating effects, such as
ulcers, spastic colons, migraine headaches, cancer, even death.

But when we are freed from internal conflicts and repression, when our order is consistent
throughout our minds, our hearts and our behavior, when our energy is ordered by our
devotion to God, it is truly remarkable what human energy a person can have, use and enjoy.


Order and energy are fundamental to all organizations, especially businesses and non-profit
organizations where people work for a living. The same principles apply to other
organizations such as social clubs and civic groups, but the focus of this chapter will be on
organizations where people work.

Types Of Organizational Order

All organizations are groups of people who act together to accomplish things which they
could not achieve as successfully by acting independently. Inasmuch as their interactions are
organized, there is order. Order exists at many levels in an organization, such as:

• Structural order, which involves the division of labor into jobs, departments, and a hierarchy
of power or rank

• Process order, which is based on the activities people engage in; typically these processes
are some manifestation of system function, that is, exchanging matter and energy with the
environment. Work organizations must create value with their actions, so that customers will
pay for goods and services or contributors will give their time and money.

• Physical order, which includes the physical facilities and equipment, how they are
positioned and equipped.

• Purposive order, the mission, goals and objectives which guide the organization in its

To some degree one may say that the more an organization is ordered, the better it functions.
The reader is referred back to Chapter 5, in which we note that as organizations become more
organized and structured, there is a greater tendency toward specialization and division of
power. However, we must also keep in mind that all order has a degree of uncertainty, and
the dynamic organization must remain flexible for almost constant change in today's rapidly
shifting operating environment.

Ordering The Organization's Energy

The same principle of ordering energy which is so essential to a balanced individual life is
also very important for an organization – perhaps even more so. The reason I say this is that a
large organization like IBM or General Motors represents enormous energy capacity.

First of all, it is essential to order all the human energy present. This includes not only the
physical energy people have for doing work but also their emotional and psychic energy.
Organizations which are able to keep people feeling committed to the company's mission and
positive in their mental attitudes can accomplish a great deal. Just as intrapsychic conflict can
be debilitating to an individual's energy capacity, so also can interpersonal and
interdepartmental conflict sap an organization's energy potential.

Secondly, many organizations use large quantities of electric, gas and other natural energy.
This results in a major cost to the organization, exceeding millions of dollars in big
companies. Energy management is a growing discipline to try to order that kind of energy.
Energy-consuming companies are major factors in the rapid depletion of the earth's natural
resources. Concerned organizations are therefore paying attention not only to direct energy
costs but also to secondary costs in terms of impact on the environment.

Order And Information In Organizations

As we have noted in previous chapters, information is a very important form of order. For an
organization to function effectively, there must be a constant exchange of information, in a
way similar to the functioning of the human body and central nervous system.
Some of this information is relatively static, such as the mission and goals. But most of it is
dynamic, constantly changing as interaction with the environment and within the organization
creates new information which must be communicated quickly and clearly for the
organization to adapt successfully.

This has led to many organizations being linked by electronic mail and other computerized
aids for the exchange of information. A well-designed computer network can function like
the nerve fibers in a human body, linking the different "organs" of the organization for rapid,
coordinated response. Even a group which is physically close, such as a football team,
demands a constant flow of information in terms of which plays to run, instructions from
coaches, the time on the clock, probable moves by the opposing team and much more.

Order And Patterns In Organizations

Whereas some forms of order such as structure, processes and communication are relatively
explicit and observable in most organizations, the order of patterns, so vital to human
perception, is more often relatively neglected.

One very important pattern is the corporate culture. This has to do with the sometimes
implicit "personality" of the organization. Some tend to have a military-style culture, some
are technologically oriented, some work like a sports team going for a score, others can be
staid and academic. This culture is manifest in terms of behavioral patterns which may never
be defined in writing, may never even be spoken of directly, but which shape the behavior of
all people within the organization in significant ways.

As individuals in the organization behave consistently over time, others tend to take in those
patterns of behavior and use them to guide their own actions. For example, if the boss has a
pattern of leaving the office early on Wednesdays, ostensibly for business appointments but
actually to play golf, employees can take this as a signal to be a little more slack in their own
Wednesday afternoon activities.

The interactions between the people in power, such as the president and the vice presidents or
department heads, often develop as patterns which influence how other people perceive each
executive's real power, the limits of power and influence, the likelihood of how new
initiatives will fare among these decision makers, and many other outcomes.

Larger organizations tend to create a pattern which is their "image" or "reputation." One
company may have an image of being very community-oriented, another may be known as
self-centered. It is interesting that even though a large organization is composed of many
people, each with their own patterns of behavior, we all tend to perceive organizations
through patterns which are invariably simplistic. And once these patterns are formed in the
minds of consumers or the community, they can be very difficult to change, because all
present and future actions are "filtered" through patterns learned and hardened in the past.

Order, Patterns And External Communications

In order to achieve success, an organization must carefully manage the many forms of pattern
and information collectively known as external communications. While external groups'
perceptions (patterns) of the organization are affected by the company's actions, proactive
external communications can play a major role in shaping pattern perceptions.
One technique often overlooked is the importance of gaining a clear understanding of target
audiences' present pattern perceptions before launching new communications. This is
accomplished through market and opinion research to probe how consumers or other groups
perceive the organization's products and services, how those products and services compare
with competitors' offerings, how the consumer makes the decision to purchase or act, how
adequately consumer needs and wants are satisfied, and other factors.

Then messages (information patterns) which are to be transmitted to target audiences must be
carefully formulated so that every word, image and nuance is refined according to the
audiences' present perceptions, the desired new perception, and the context of the
communication. For example many advertisers pulled upbeat and lighthearted advertisements
after the 1991 Persian Gulf War broke out. They were concerned that the tense context of the
war, covered moment-by-moment by the media, would lead to negative audience perceptions
of their commercial messages.

Congruent And Incongruent Patterns

Another factor often overlooked in external communications is the importance of congruent

patterns. A company may put a great deal of effort and money into a new brochure or
advertising campaign touting its leading-edge technology and its commitment to quality. But
if this information is not congruent with audiences' existing pattern perceptions, it can be a
waste. Other information such as the behavior of salespeople, the appearance of a company's
offices or stores, the way in which bills are sent out, the company's logo, and many other
items can have as much or more influence on audiences' pattern perceptions.

The best advertising claims are true, not exaggerations. The best ads reinforce positive
dimensions of the consumer experience as product and services are directly perceived in use.
Such communications can thus be very successful in integrating or refining existing patterns
in consumers' minds with a new focus or a fresh theme that energizes and shapes existing
patterns rather than trying to create wholly new ones at odds with real experience.

Order, Patterns And Quality

Quality has been a major concern of many organizations in the '80s and '90s. It has given a
new focus to organizations' entire functioning, with everything being geared to customer
satisfaction. Although the word "quality" is actually neutral, meaning "distinctive
characteristic," it has taken on a connotation of excellence or high quality.

In the context of this book, we may define quality as a pattern-perception influenced by at

least three factors: the existing patterns in the consumer's mind (built up over a lifetime), the
specific pattern which defines the consumer's expectation or need, and the product or service
which is purchased or experienced (again, influenced by everything the organization does and

Phil Cosby, in his watershed book Quality Is Free, defined quality as "conformance to
requirements." His point was that quality does not always mean gold-plated or bejeweled. If
all I need is a 1/4 by 2 inch bolt, and you can sell me one at a reasonable price, that may be
all of my requirements. However, if I am responsible for building jet fighters and that bolt
will be vital in keeping the wings on the airplane, my requirements for that bolt may be much
more demanding.
As our preceding paragraph indicates, quality is largely a matter of pattern perception, so
much so that the actual product or service purchased is only a small part of a complex "big
picture." Marketers distinguish between the "core product" which is the physical thing itself
and the "augmented product" which represents the total purchase experience. But we must
always keep in mind that physical objects or acts have meaning only in terms of human
pattern perceptions. In a real sense, the consumer is paying for a pattern perception, not a
physical thing.

"Snake oil" salesmen in the old West sold bottles of colored chemicals and extracts which
often had no medicinal value whatsoever. But if they were able to persuade their naive
audiences that the product would cure all sorts of aches and ailments, they often made a sale.
They often moved on to another town before the purchaser found out the product was
worthless. Or perhaps in some cases the purchaser believed so strongly in the medicine’s
power that this stimulated a natural healing process.

In more recent times many experiments have been done showing that a person may feel relief
from a headache when told that an inert tablet (placebo) was a strong new pain reliever.
Others have acted intoxicated when given an inert liquid described as heavily alcoholic.

All these complications are not noted in an attempt to say that defining quality is hopeless.
Rather the point is that quality is a very complex pattern perception, influenced by many
variables both apparent and obscure, and the company which wants to enhance its reputation
for quality must consider all these factors, and not any simplistic definition that ignores the
consumers' pattern perceptions.

Order, Energy And Management

The manager's task is to order the energy of the human and other resources of his
organization through actions and communications. The one thing the manager can be certain
of is this: that however he or she perceives his or her own behavior and communications,
others in the organization will perceive it differently. Such is the nature of pattern perception.

In order to minimize the danger of misunderstanding, communication must be an on-going,

two-way process. The only way to increase the probability that the managers' pattern-
communications achieve their intended purpose is to interact closely with the employees who
are managed. We must attempt to understand their present pattern perceptions, both in
general and specifically in terms of the particular action or communication being
contemplated for enactment. Enlightened organizations are increasingly undertaking
participatory management, giving employees a vital role in the organization's decisions and
also empowering employees to act within certain parameters without having to get
permission for every move.

Effective management involves following the Golden Rule, Jesus' commandment to treat
others as we would like to be treated ourselves. This is often forgotten by managers who feel
superior to their employees. But managers who maintain their humility and treat others with
respect can be more successful not only at achieving order but also at focusing and
unleashing people's energy to perform at the peak of their abilities.

As in all living things, as in all the universe, the key to understanding organizations is the
tremendous power of order and energy under the on-going creation of God.


A New Paradigm Of Reality

In the preceding chapters, I have attempted to develop a new view of reality by sharing with
you the many different dimensions of the universe, life and existence in which order and
energy are essential. All these dimensions, and many others which might be added, comprise
a new view of reality.

Having considered the importance of order and energy for several years now, my view of
reality is permanently changed. I now experience the events of my life in terms of order,
energy, patterns and the other concepts set forth in this book. I believe this helps me have an
authentic experience of life, an authentic existence.

Things are never what they seem. Physical objects are illusions – they are mostly empty
space, composed of energy "slowed down" by the inverse of the speed of light squared. What
is real is the order and energy present in each situation we encounter. And what matters most
to people – whatever they say – is their pattern perceptions within their minds, their brains,
their selves.

I find it impossible to experience life with all its wondrous order without a sense of awe.
Rather than feeling "alone in the universe," I feel at one with the universe. For everything is
made and controlled by the same order and energy that makes me what I am.

The Many Dimensions Of Order

Order is manifest in many dimensions. The various natural "laws" make our physical world
appear and function as it does. Order transforms some forms of energy into matter. A very
special order of matter is able to process energy through a remarkable state of existence
known as life. Order makes each thing what it is.

I am what I am and you are what you are because each of us possesses a unique order. Order
eliminates the old reductionist fallacy of "nothing but" that we often encounter. Some people
believe, for example, that you are "nothing but" atoms and molecules – that everything else is
illusory. I once heard a great biologist startle his audience by claiming that the purpose of life
is the procreation of the germ plasm – our bodies are "nothing but" vehicles that allow the
germ plasm to procreate. The book "Dianetics" has sold millions of copies claiming that the
purpose of life is "nothing but" survival.

All these forms of reductionism ignore the reality of order. We cannot reduce a higher form
of order to a lower form of order and claim that the objects we have altered are still the same.
The Empire State Building is more than a pile of bricks and steel – it represents a high degree
of order which is the essence of what it is. You are unique not just because you have a
recognizable face but more importantly because of the incredibly complex order of your brain
and your central nervous system. Order gives you a unique history, personality and potential.
It is impossible to account for your totality and your uniqueness as a human being without
considering all the manifestations of order which are part of your being.

The same is true for all things in the universe. The stars in the night sky, the clouds and sun in
the day. The plants ranging from tiny flowers to giant oaks. The astonishing variety of life
forms, plant and animal. The endless diversity and complexity of human beings. Each is a
unique manifestation of order, some of which is universal and some of which is very
particular. Order links us to all other things in the universe.

The Reality Of Order

Some say that the ultimate question of philosophy is, Why is there something instead of
nothing? I have always found another question more intriguing – Why are things the way
they are and not some other way?

The ultimate answer to virtually all ultimate questions beginning with "why" is: Because
order is real, as real as matter and energy, a part of reality. Keep asking, Why does this
happen, why is this so, and the ultimate answer is, Because order is what makes everything
the way it is.

There are only two alternatives:

(1) Order exists "out there" independently of our minds, or

(2) Order is a figment of our minds, a result of our perception or imagination.

You may not live as if you believe that love or beauty or justice or equality are ultimate
realities, but you do live as if you believe implicitly that order is real. If you didn't, you'd
worry that the chair you are sitting on or the bed you are lying on or the floor you are
standing on is really mostly empty space, and you could fall right through it at any moment,
right on through the floor, down and down to the center of the earth. Or you'd be concerned
that the ceiling would cave in at any moment. Or that when you left home and came back,
your "home" would be gone, vanished, nowhere. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. In
our nightmares, we "experience" a world "out of order." But we always know we are awake
by testing the order of our experience – pinching ourselves, sitting up and looking around the
room, and taking in a full range of sensations that are missing when we dream. You know
instinctively that "reality" is orderly and you believe it and you act on that belief every
waking moment.

Furthermore, as this book has demonstrated, the more science learns about the universe and
physical objects and life, the more science finds that order is everywhere and that everything
depends on the relationship between order and energy.

Order has a reality beyond matter, energy, space and time. I hope with careful thought you
will agree that the independent reality of order is far more "believable" than the truly bizarre
idea that uniform "laws" have emerged from "nature" by "chance" evolution from "chaotic"
matter and energy. Science claims that order is in the matter and energy. I believe that order
is separate. I find it inconceivable that each atom possesses within itself characteristics which
allow it to combine with millions of other atoms to form a human being, a flower, or a jet
airplane. Atoms are mute and dumb. Order is imposed from without through forces and
powers traditionally called "laws of nature." But again, "nature" does not possess or make
these laws. They could only be created by a supreme intelligence.

The Necessity For God

All of the order of the universe points to a supreme intelligence. Although we cannot know
the source of this supreme intelligence as a physical being, at least not in this earthly life, we
can know this intelligence as we know all other things – as a Pattern. We can perceive the
order of existence and the beauty of creation as dimensions of a Pattern we call God.

It is interesting that the Bible says when Moses asked God what His name was, God's answer
was "Yahweh," which has been translated "I am what I am" and "I am becoming what I am
becoming." It is unfortunate, in a way, that English-speaking people use the old Anglo-Saxon
word "god" which the dictionary defines as "any person or thing made the chief object of
one's love, interest or aspiration." The Bible speaks of rival gods when it says, "Thou shalt
have no other gods before me." Historically Yahweh was the Number One God among many,
before the Hebrews came to perceive Him as the only real God.

It is difficult if not impossible to separate our perception of the mysterious pattern of supreme
intelligence responsible for all the order in the universe, from the pattern in our minds
associated with the word "God." Public opinion polls repeatedly show that the great majority
of Americans say they "believe in God." This may only mean that people have a pattern in
their minds associated with the word "God" which they assume represents a real being.
However, it is safe to say that not all these Americans make this so-called God "the chief
object of their love, interest or aspiration."

I believe that all the order in the universe points to a Supreme Being who transcends the
pattern in my mind associated with the word "God." Neither that pattern nor my entire mind
can possibly comprehend all the dimensions of this Supreme Being. But because the
existence of order in the universe is not only undeniable but also all-pervasive, I perceive this
order not only as having been caused by a Supreme Being but also as providing me with a
world that is ultimately nurturing and caring. In other words, God loves us. As I said before,
life is not entirely wonderful but it is mostly wonderful, and most of us prefer it to the
alternative of death.

But my belief in this Supreme Being as the source and cause of all the order in the universe is
nevertheless a leap of faith. I cannot see God as a physical being. Sometimes when I
experience pain or suffering I even doubt God's existence and power. My belief in God as the
cause of the order in the universe is ultimately a personal choice, as it is for you and for all
others. I prefer the joy and peace and sense of well-being which this belief gives me to the
alternative of an uncreated universe.

Creation, Order And Time

Time is the product of God's on-going creation. Creation is making things new or making
new things, and if there were no time, there would be no change, hence nothing new. By
"God's on-going creation," I mean that He is constantly unfolding new things synchronously
with the unfolding of time. We presume that the total of all matter and energy in the universe
is unchanging, although we may convert one into the other. But the total of order in the
universe is constantly changing. Through God's on-going creation, new orders are being
created and old orders are being torn down. Identifying with this on-going creation allows an
exciting opportunity for us to identify with the work of God in the world.

However, not all new order is the result of God's work. Hitler's Third Reich manipulated the
orderliness of the world, but I do not believe God was directly responsible for Hitler's power.
We can know or believe that some particular new order in the world is God's work when it is
consistent with what God has revealed to us through His Word and through Jesus Christ.

Uncertainty And Human Freedom

Hitler's actions were possible because of human freedom. And human freedom is possible
because all order has an element of uncertainty and unpredictability, as we have said in
previous chapters.

Christian doctrine states that God gave man freedom of choice because without it, loving and
obeying God would be meaningless. We would be robots. God created us in His own image,
not only free to choose, but also free to participate in His ongoing creation. For every choice
we make creates something. We increase order in some ways, decrease order in others, ignore
order in still others. Uncertainty not only means that we have freedom of choice – it also
means we cannot know for certain the consequences of our choices.

In some ways we seek more freedom. Freedom for black people in the mid-20th Century
meant freedom for equal opportunity under the law, an end to racial discrimination, freedom
for human dignity, from riding the bus to voting and holding elective office. Oppressed
people everywhere yearn for freedom. It is a deeply-rooted human impulse. Freedom in this
sense is much more than uncertainty – it is the opportunity to satisfy our energies without
having them thwarted. It is not only freedom from, but also freedom to.

The Law Of Parsimony Revisited

Scientists and philosophers throughout the ages have generally agreed on the principle
variously called the Law of Parsimony or Occam's Razor. This principle states that, given
alternative explanations, the simplest one which accounts for all pertinent phenomena is
always to be preferred. I realize that I am making a bold claim to state that everything in the
universe is composed of order and energy, under the ongoing creation of God. But in this
book I have tried to demonstrate that everything, from subatomic particles to the human brain
and multinational organizations, can indeed be understood in terms of order and energy. I
cannot conceive of anything simpler, nor can I conceive of the necessity for more complexity.
The Law of Parsimony is fulfilled.

Information, Meaning And Order

Earlier in this book, we pointed to the tremendous importance of information. Advocates of

information theory believe that everything that exists is composed of matter, energy and
information. I believe, with all due respect, that this represents a close effort to identify order
as an essential element of existence. But it misses on one important point. That is,
information is not "out there." Information is a characteristic of the human mind. The DNA
double-helix does not contain information – it contains order. When we perceive that order
and find meaning in it, we take it in as information. But the information is in our minds, as
patterns. The only things "out there" independent of our minds are order, energy and God.
Likewise, meaning has been a profound value for many people. Victor Frankl wrote of Man's
Search For Meaning. A type of therapy based on the concept of meaning as "logos" was
called "logotherapy." But again, meaning is in the mind, it is the sense we make of things, it
is pattern perception.

Order, Energy and Entropy

Another important concept closely related to information theory is the concept of entropy.
This also has been overextended and misunderstood. When the second law of
thermodynamics was formulated, it referred specifically to a closed system, with particular
reference to machines such as steam engines. But actually, there is no such thing as a closed
system except the universe as a whole. Nothing can be totally isolated from its environment.

And yet with the universe as a whole, we encounter this amazing paradox: If everything in
the universe is running down to a state of maximum disorder and energy dissipation, then it
must be running down from a previous state of maximum order and energy concentration.
The creation of the universe with the "Big Bang" accounts for the dissipation of energy. But
all the evidence points to the fact that, at least on earth, order is increasing in some ways and
decreasing in others. All that we can say about the totality of order confidently is that it is in a
state of flux.

Applying the concept of entropy to the increasing pollution of the earth, the ever-mounting
piles of garbage, the burning up of natural resources and the probable depletion of fossil
fuels, is not appropriate. The earth is not a closed system. Never has been, never will be. The
earth receives enormous quantities of energy from the sun, and that is the ultimate source for
much of the fossil fuel we consume each day, as well as virtually all forms of life.

What we have on earth is not entropy but the consumption of natural resources increasing at a
rate much faster than those resources are being replenished. We are burning parts of the ship
to keep the engines running. In our wisest moments we can say, "This is stupid and self-
defeating. We will one day destroy life on earth with this rapid consumption of natural
resources." Unfortunately, that appears to be mankind's fate. About the only thing that can
save future generations is that technology will speed ahead fast enough to provide the means
of saving life on the planet before teeming humanity destroys it. Another way of saying this
is, the only way to control this high waste of energy is with a very high level of order. What
we need is a new view of reality.

A Responsible View Of Reality For The Future

The new view of reality which we call Theordergy sees everything in the universe in terms of
order and energy and God. We acknowledge that this beautiful world in which we live was
created by a loving God to support all living things, and that we human beings are the highest
achievement of order in all creation.

This amazing world of order and energy is not an impersonal machine. It is a nurturing
environment created by a loving God. As God's gift to us, we have a great responsibility to
care for it, to maintain it and not destroy it, to preserve its beauty and quality for future
We can only achieve this preservation through lives focused on being instead of having. We
must learn to break free from the addiction to having which our society fosters. We must
learn that it is not possessions that make us free but achieving a state of being independent of
possessions. We can find joy in knowing, loving, learning, caring, worshiping, praying,
listening, enjoying the beauties of nature, exercising, conserving, and all the many other
dimensions of human experience which do not require the acquisition of possessions or
possessive relationships with other people.

Who was the epitome of being instead of having? A person called Jesus, who claimed that he
was God incarnate. His life is the model, the pattern, we all can follow.

As we seek to order our energy responsibly and authentically, we must keep in mind that the
highest achievement of order on earth is the human being, not only individually but
collectively. The purpose of life is not the procreation of the germ plasm. The purpose of life
is not survival. The purpose of life is to enhance order at its highest level: by making the
world a better place, by helping human beings live better lives, by loving others as we are
loved, by glorifying the source of all the order in the universe, the Lord God, our Creator,
Defender, Redeemer and Friend.