An Inner Order

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It’s been said that better questions lead us naturally to better answers, and that it’s in not knowing that we open the doorway to knowing. I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that truly matter in a complex world.

We look at nature and at ourselves and at one another, but how often do we consciously think about what it is we’re witnessing?

Join me this week, as we consider the hidden order beneath the surface of everything.

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Over the years, I’ve written numerous times about birds and the mysteries of nature and how they continue to fascinate me. One of my most touching memories happened as a slow rain fell for days and a dove called again and again from one of the trees beyond my window. Something about the sound she made set the wheels of my imagination into motion. It caused me to look even more deeply into the hidden, inner order of the natural world. This week, I’ll share a piece I wrote about it for my first collection of poetry, In Brazos River Country.

[ sound: repeated calling of a single dove ]

All through the night, the dove cried piteously from her nest outside my window. She slipped in and out, weaving herself into the fabric of my dreams. It was not the music of lost love or lost hope. Such things are not for birds. They were sweeter songs. Perhaps secrets to her awaited chicks, whispers of winged flight, or the colors of the dawn. This morning, she sits lightly on her eggs, unmoved by a steady fall of rain.

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photo: Scott Lennox


Whenever I go out into nature, I quickly fall into states of awe and wonder. From hummingbirds and wrens to buzzards and eagles, I’m particularly fascinated by the nesting habits of birds. They evoke so many questions. For example, what wondrous intelligence enables them to build nests so perfectly and support them in just the right ways to hatch and shelter their eggs and then raise their young? To what degree are they conscious of what they’re doing as they build? Or are they just behaving primitively and innately. As I wonder, I marvel at the efficiency and the beauty of what they do.

Just as awesome to me is the hidden intelligence or organization found in hives of bees, colonies of ants, the formation of crystals, the collective movement of schools of fish, or the fluid murmuration of great flocks of starlings.

And then there’s the world we can barely see, if at all.

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A few episodes back, I wrote about peering through the eyepiece of my microscope when I was a boy. For hours at a time, I sat at my desk poring over the cell structures of plants and was thrilled to discover the endless array of microorganisms I collected in small jars and test tubes from the ponds and creeks near my home.

Even at an early age, I was asking beautiful questions. I wanted to know what unseen force made such miracles of life possible. My questions prompted me to investigate the deeper order that was hidden below the surface of the things I studied. Years later, I came across the writing of the physicist David Bohm, who used the terms “explicate order” and “implicate order.” The first describes the consistent and observable order of things—the things we can see and touch. The second, points to the invisible or unseen order that pervades everything in existence.

Take a long, close look at the way seeds are arranged at the center of a sunflower. That’s the explicate order, the part you can see. Then consider the complex genetic encoding—the hidden or implicate order—that allows those seeds to reproduce themselves with such elegance and consistency.

Consider the dazzling spectrum of colors that are revealed as a ray of light passes through a prism. Or the organization of the notes of a scale of music or the structure and function of a nautilus shell or the spiral of the cochlea within the human ear which allows us to hear and recognize sounds.

In every case, you’ll find a logical or mathematically precise order.

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Now, consider that the same elegant order that guides the movement of the universe—the same balance and wisdom and continuity—is resident and resonant within each of us right now.

Deeper than our ability to fully know them, there are intelligences beyond our mental one. Just as a bird’s nest is made up piece-by-piece, each one exquisitely interacting with the others, and each one wisely and carefully put in place to cradle and sustain life, so are there hidden intelligences in even the smallest particles that make up the building blocks of what we are as human beings.

Ask yourself how it is that we are conscious at all. How is it that we have built into us the ability to think and remember, the ability to dream so vividly and then recall what we have dreamt. How is it that we can hear a piece of music and then reproduce it in our minds so clearly that we can hum it or sing it? It’s a facility so wondrous that even a child can do it.

How is it that what we are made up of systems and cells and molecules, that are consistent right down to the finest particles and sub-particles of the atoms that are vibrating in us in inconceivable ways? How is it?

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It’s not my goal in this week’s consideration to reach a “grand conclusion,” but rather to evoke a spirit of wonder that causes each of us to look more deeply into the miracle of our existence.

This week’s Beautiful Questions are offered to support that kind of wonder.

One: Despite your physical or mental or emotional state in this moment, what deeper, perhaps hidden reality, makes you who you are?

Two: Could it be that despite how others may treat you or engage with you, they are just as miraculously alive as you and I are?

Three: If you were to consciously recognize the miraculous nature of your existence, how would you treat yourself and how would you treat those around you?

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I look forward to hearing where your considerations take you and what new awareness they inspire in you. Write and tell me about them.

As I say each week,
My Light with your Light,

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Thank you again for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing everything we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. You’ll also find an archive of all previous podcasts, including episodes three and four, guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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