kay and I were sitting at the dying embers of a camp fire. It was one of those unbelievably quiet, summer nights at Sechelt when the starlit sky so surpassed our powers of expression that a silence of awe seemed appropriately eloquent. The Big Dipper was turning slowly like the hour hand of a 24-hour clock around the North Star there, straight up the inlet.
Our eyes were sliding over the familiar constellations—from Cassiopeia to the Dragon, the Swan, the Harp, the Crown. From one bright marker to another—Polaris, Arcturus, Vega, Deneb, Altair. All of them are so unimaginably far away. Their relationships in the night sky change so very slowly that we call them fixed stars. Every night, there they are, in their places on time. No matter what may have gone wrong during the day with our little affairs, the stars at least are completely reliable. It reassures me to remember that something dependable lies beyond all the turmoil in which most people spend their days. Some ground rules still hold.
Perhaps some of those stars are like our sun, with systems of planets revolving around them. Are there also perhaps beings like us somewhere out there on those planets, maybe even sitting around their camp fire looking toward our modest little sun-star; asking whether there might be beings like themselves somewhere among the teeming celestial flares?
Are we humans a unique and crucial experiment, or perhaps only one of many that God is performing throughout the universe as he seeks to develop a kind of beings with whom he could safely colonize the far reaches of space?
We humans ate certainly more wonderful than all of those stars up there put together. We know that the stars are there, and we are capable of speculating about their significance. None of them, however, is well enough organized to pay the slightest attention to anything much except keeping its own fire going. While we humans thrill to the beauty of the spangled heavens, the stars only know how to radiate light and other emanations, belching forth clouds of indeterminate destiny.
Why then did God make all those stars in their billions?
Are they backup systems to which he can turn if his experiment with humans should fail?
Or does he quite simply just like to look at all those bright lights out there in space, dreaming with them his kinds of dreams, watching how the celestial kaleidoscope of patterns changes through the aeons?
No single cell in my body possesses more than a shred of knowledge about the man in whose tissues it resides, or about any of my affairs. Perhaps in the same way our whole solar system is only a “molecule” within a galaxy of galaxies that together form some vast, inconceivable “body” whose significance or dimensions we could never hope to guess.
It’s a good thing that God put those recognizable patterns of lights up there in the sky. When no sun or moon is visible, lost sailors, fliers and explorers can tell where they are.
The moon had not yet appeared back of Four Mile Point. I always wanted to see the full spread of the summer sky, uninterrupted by nearby rooftops, trees, hills or city lights. So I got up from my folding chair and led Kay to the rowboat. She got in and I pushed off. The night was so still that the boat’s scraping on the gravel sounded like sacrilege. The clatter from seating the oars was outrageous.
For a while we drifted along with the tidal current out in the inlet. No breeze raised a ripple on the water. When I rowed a few strokes, the boat left behind it a wake of shimmering white gold. When I paused, with upraised oars, the dripping water made golden rings—the tiny flashes emitted by phosphorescent plankton in the water. The beauty of the sea that night could match the splendor of the starry heavens.
A school of small fish streamed past like a golden-textured cloud blown loose from the Milky Way by a sudden galactic gust of cosmic wind.
Somewhere along the shore a great heron out fishing uttered a raucous, squawking complaint about its poor luck and took off for home. Then all was silent again.
Every star in the sky was reflected in the still water around us with hardly a wobble. We could see twice as many stars as those people could who were looking only at the sky. The patterns of the constellations were there in the dark mirror of the deep, but all were upside down and backwards.
Suddenly Kay drew a loud breath and pointed over above Carlson Point: I stared into the sky until I saw what she had seen. One star was moving rather quickly among all the others. No flashing lights. It wasn’t a plane. It had to be a satellite.
The human race is beginning to reach out to the stars in ways other than wonder and worship. Why not? The earth is made of the same stuff as the sun. Whatever else we human beings may be, each of us is an organization of stardust. We belong to the universe. The universe is reflected in our minds as the stars are reflected in still water. And God too is reflected in universe, stars and satellites—in minds, in water and dust—and also in a man and a woman, together in the night, drifting through the stars above and the stars below in a boat not of their making.
The human race has always been fascinated by seeing likenesses in things that seem very different—hence our interest in reflections and images. In a new situation we are glad when we recognize something that is familiar to us. In a world where changes are always pending and any change might prove to be threatening, things that are recognizably familiar—samenesses, likenesses and equalities—create for us a soothing sense of stability and confidence in our ability to handle such things. We need some samenesses in all the differings.
No two things in this world exactly and entirely duplicate one another. But there are many things that hardly differ from each other at all. Things that are equivalent are uninteresting and cannot long hold our attention. Each chicken egg in a carton is much the same as any other. Each has been graded as to color, weight, appearance, cleanliness, age and freedom from unusual contents and cracks. There are rules for determining which eggs are to be admitted into the class of salable eggs and awarded a place in a carton bearing the name of a particular grading class. When I ask for an egg for breakfast, you needn’t ask me which one in the carton I prefer. Any one of them will do. They hardly differ at all.
Each society teaches its children to call each thing they have to deal with by its right name. There is an official list of characteristics which a thing bearing a certain name must have. When a child says “Horsey” but points to an animal whose organization and behavior are more dog-like than horse-like, we say, “No, dear, that’s a dog.”
Dictionaries and specialized reference books contain very detailed lists of the inner and outer patterns by which things can be identified so that the correct names may be applied. These lists function as criteria, sorting devices, like the egg-grading rules. They help us to decide whether or not a certain thing, event or process is qualified to receive a particular name. Whatever bears the same name used in the same sense belongs to the same class. Each member of that class can be expected to produce at a certain level much the same experiences and effects as any other.
The names in a language indicate that there is a social rule about relating certain sounds to certain kinds of things, events and processes in the actual world. The rule reflects how the society divides up its world, and groups those divisions into kinds, classes and categories. Each member of a class sends out much the same message, so any one of the class members may substitute in that regard for any other. Differences between fellow class members are officially treated as inconsequential and negligible. If differences within a class do turn out to be important, then a subclass must be formed and an adjective added to the name. Instead of a “hand” we then specify, say, a “right hand.”
If one thing’s total effect on its total environment can scarcely be 277
Missing pages 278-9
displaced from the normal familiar situation where it characteristically occurs and is imagined as characterizing the relation between two things that are not normally connected by that relation. The proportionate ratio form of expression is preserved in metaphor, but it is somewhat weakened because the well-known relation which each ratio has in common with the other is not fully specified.
Ship / Sea = x / y = (plow?) / (field?)
It is always difficult to explain to somebody else how you feel about something. Nobody can get inside you to sample your emotions. How do you convey some notion of how a kumquat tastes to someone who has never had some of that yellow fruit? Is a person born blind able to imagine what a rainbow is like? Can a sequestered young person really understand falling in love? Knowledge of such experiences can be communicated only vaguely. The best one can do is resort to a vague form of analogy called “simile.”
In a simile, an unspecified relation between a specific thing and an unspecified observer is said to be similar to a familiar relation between another specific thing and the same unspecified observer. If you read, “His face was like vinegar,” you understand that observing his face would affect a person as if the observer had just tasted some sour vinegar.
If in a certain situation you and I once experienced similar feelings, I may presume that you would comprehend other similar feelings aroused in me by some other kind of situation which affected me like the one we mutually experienced. I need only refer you to our previous joint experience in the old situation and you will get a fair idea of my feelings in the new one. If you and I were together at a certain wedding, you will likely understand what I mean when I tell you: “I don’t know how to handle Joe. His clowning embarrasses me everywhere we go—like when his loud laughing killed my joke at the wedding.” Feelings of course are too vague and diffuse to be specified precisely. Nevertheless by means of similes we can convey indirectly at least some information about the quality, intensity and duration of experiences. As such, they are probably better than having no information at all. Similes certainly stimulate the imagination. The young lady may not have understood precisely what her poet friend had in mind when he wrote, “Oh my love’s like a red, red rose,” but I’m sure that she was pleased with the general idea just the same.
A class of similarities called “models” enables us to compare a large number of relations all at once in a very complex situation. Perhaps the commonest models are maps.
The mapmaker sets out to make a map of terrain in which just about anything might be found. Which kinds of things should have their location represented on the map? That decision having been made, a set of symbols must be devised, each of which will function as a general surrogate class name for each different kind of feature. These symbols might be digits, letters, words, colors, or distinctive geometrical shapes such as hatched patterns, dotted lines, triangles, squares or circles.
A quantitative way of representing the distance-relationship between these symbols must also be established. A scale is drawn and described to make it clear that a certain distance on the map is related to a certain distance on the terrain in the same proportion as the ratio fixed by the scale.
Whoever uses the map must know how to point the map in relation to the terrain. An arrow pointing north (or a meridian of longitude) is therefore placed on the map, establishing its correct orientation.
The distance between any two designated places on the terrain can be measured, and die direction of the straight line joining them can be determined with respect to the north-south direction. With this information a baseline can be drawn in a proper direction on the map, its length fixed according to the scale in proportion to the actual distance between the two designated places. Measured distances and directions between other places on the terrain and the two designated places can be represented on the map with reference to the direction, length and ends of this baseline.
Eventually each selected feature in the terrain can be represented and placed on the map. Its distance and direction from every other represented feature can be read from the map. A map is thus a vast network of distance and direction relations between carefully placed symbols, which corresponds proportionately to the distances between features on the terrain, and actually to the directions from feature to feature. The order and connections of things on the ground are preserved in the order and connection of symbols on the map, which is the model of the terrain. The two complex patterns of relations must be proportionately similar.
The actual process of making a flat map which represents the spherical surface of the earth introduces those bothersome distortions which appear in various “projections.” But even these distortions obey definite proportional rules and can be used in calculating the actual layout of the terrain.
Maps are only one kind of model. There are many others. Each of them symbolically represents some relational organization of things. Some models look like the actual structures which they model. Others behave like them. Some are in three dimensions, some in two, and some consist of mathematical equations. Others exist as a sequence of punched cards or magnetic tapes. All models, however, are similar in that the relations they embody are similar in order and connection to the relational organization of some object, event or process in the actual world.
Anyone who attempts to describe an experience, to understand it, or to communicate something about it to others, must find a way of saying “This is similar to that.” To express such similarities, ratio-form expressions of imagined relations may be used, such as the analogies, metaphors, similes or models described above.
A great array of other devices is also available. A list of these would include allegories, blueprint plans, descriptions, diagrams, equations, examples, formulae, graphs, illustrations, images, instances, instructions, isomorphisms, measurements, mime, myths, parables, paradigms, photographs, pilot projects, programs, recipes, recordings, rehearsals, samplings, scores, simulations, specifications, testings and translations. Since I have never found in the English language a conventional word whose denotative scope was broad enough to refer to the legion of ways of fabricating likenesses, I have therefore coined for this purpose the word “similistry.”
Some form of similistry is involved in all human communication. We can tell when an act of communication has been successful by whether or not a conceptual organization, clear to the communicator but previously unknown to a receiver, appears in the mind of the receiver after the communicator has sent out patterned signals. The art of similistry is involved in the choice of which signals will stand for certain symbol patterns understood by both communicator and receiver. When these signals are sent, if nothing in them should correspond with any symbol pattern in the experience of the receiver, little detailed communication is possible.
Whether or not communication has been successful must be judged by how well the responses of the receiver fit with what the communicator had in mind. At school, tests and examinations can reveal whether or not presumed communication between teacher and pupil has actually taken place.
Through the use of similistry in communication, people come to share similar meanings, awarenesses, feelings and attitudes, as well as similar patterns of thought and behavior. They are then said to be “of one mind.” The old saying, “Birds of a feather flock together,” shows great insight. People with similar mind sets possess a mutual understanding which enables them to cooperate in their activities. A vast organization holds together by virtue of similistry. A common model of the world, as it concerns that organization, provides the controlling frame of reference which coordinates what all personnel must do in concert.
The worldview of a people provides them with a megamodel of the history, organization and future of the world. Worldviews are a kind of metasimilistry which coordinates into a coherent whole a people’s stories, descriptions, explanations, lore, wisdom, customs and worship. By means of this kind of similistry they identify themselves. Having this basic similistry in mind, they can reach out into unknown regions and into the future, expecting to find things, events and processes there which resemble their previous experiences. If new kinds of things are encountered, they will be construed in terms of the same familiar worldview. By the light that streams from customary mentacosmic constructions, people find their way into realms unknown.
The worldviews of many European tribes were greatly modified, if not suppressed and supplanted, by the Judeo-Christian biblical worldview which had itself been interpreted in terms of Greco-Roman philosophy. Throughout modern times the developing worldview of Western natural sciences has been gradually displacing or transforming the Greco-Roman assumptions and pressing hard upon biblical assertions.
A major advance in physics was made by Isaac Newton, who showed that one fundamental “sameness”—the law of universal gravitation—explains not only why bodies fall to the earth but why the moon keeps circling the earth as the latter orbits the sun. The ancients had believed that each of the heavenly bodies was driven around the earth once a day by some god, spirit or angel. A single and separate agency was in charge of each, and there were many of them. Newton’s economical new similistry applied not only to the working of the heavens but also to such things as water flows, tides, weights and trajectories on the earth.
Similarly the concept of “energy” has provided modern physics with another generalized “sameness” which underlies phenomena as diverse as matter, kinetic motion, heat, light, electricity, chemical reactions and potential energy. The Law of the Conservation of Energy and the equations which translate each form of energy into the others are absolutely essential to physical calculations in mechanics and dynamics.
Chemistry began to make real progress when it was recognized that all the different kinds of substances were really combinations of a relatively few “elements.” In each element the structure and organization of every molecule and atom is believed to be the same as those of every other molecule and atom of that element. The various elements differ from each other because the structures and organizations of their respective molecules and atoms differ from element to element. However the protons, neutrons, electrons and other particles which constitute the molecules and atoms of all the elements are believed to be identical to all other protons, neutrons, electrons, etc. The ancient simplicity of “mere matter” has thus been replaced by the complexities of new levels of samenesses which merge and emerge within the universe’s pool of energy.
The new brands of sameness which make up the similistry of energy now mingle in the English language with long-standing logical classes and such of the old universal as are still in service. The modern conceptions of colors, photons and light waves come from different levels of similistry. Despite their coexistence in English, these notions seem to be incongruent. Photons are mathematical conceptualizations of the units of radiated energy. No one has ever seen an individual photon. People who are not blind have seen “light,” but they have never seen the particles, vibrations or waves which generated their visual experience. A color, say, “red,” may be conceived in at least three ways: as a subclass of light frequencies, as a universal “eternal object” called “redness” which participates in certain situations, or as a peculiarly personal visual experience which emerges under certain circumstances.
It is impossible to say why a certain frequency of vibrations out in the world generates an experience of redness in a mind which responds to a normal seeing ey& Nobody quite knows what light is by itself when no human being is around to experience it. As a matter of fact no one knows what the world “out there” really is apart from his or her living experience of it. No one ever will.
Only God knows the secret of the world’s existence, and can perceive what is really “out there.” But even God can’t tell us what he knows without employing words or some other kind of similistry. Unfortunately a description can never be what it describes. Kissing a photograph has always been a poor substitute for kissing the living person. A simulated hurricane is not an actual hurricane. The devices and descriptions of similistry may run parallel to whatever they represent, bat they are nevertheless quite disjoined from their referent and are very different in kind. The oracle at Delphi counselled Socrates: “Know thyself.” Unfortunately no one can do this. We may know what we are like, but not what we are.
While those old philosophical questions about the real nature of existing things are still in order, they are notoriously unproductive. If, however, you never expect to have anything more than information about that inscrutable world out there, you can stop worrying about the great chasm between similistry and reality. Though the traveling forms launched by real things, events and processes are not the realities which generated them, they nevertheless resemble them well enough to justify regarding them as reliable means of knowing something significant about those realities. Because those traveling forms can retain so much of their original integrity as they journey from their source through medium after medium to a perceiving mind, we continue to have confidence in the conservation of information. Similistry which corresponds to authentic information may thus be regarded as a more or less adequate expression of the way things really proceed in the objective world.
The distinction between the observer and the observed—the subject-object split—is absolutely basic for Western thought. If an observer did not stand back from the world, distinguishing one thing in it from another and naming it, our language would contain no names, no descriptions and no similistry.
The observer’s act of intellectually stepping back from things, putting them at a distance, creates an awareness of space. It also generates a consciousness of time and history. “Once” the observer and what has not been observed were merged in an undifferentiated amalgam of experience to which both contributed. “Now” a distinction has been drawn between the observer and the observed. In the “before” and “after” of the transition from a coalescent unity of experience to a self-conscious divided duality, a time sense is born. Just as space splits into three dimensions, time also disintegrates into past, present and future. Other contrasts and distinctions also arise, and names are given to all these. A language appears whose structure and logic reflect the analytic act of dividing, and whose similistry represents and perpetuates the divisions. People who speak and mink “English” see everything through their linguistically “colored glasses.”
When the observer steps back from things, that act creates not only “thing-consciousness” but also “self“-consciousness.”
That he or she was “an individual self,” separable and quite apart from ancestors, immediate family, the tribe and the environment, probably never crossed the mind of a prehistoric person. Many elements of this primeval sense of unicity with the rest of the world still survive in non-Western cultures.
Before they were born, babies are practically one with their mothers. For a considerable time after birth, human infants are unable to make a distinction between themselves and their parents or other environment. They will suck indiscriminately on anything available. In response to most stimuli, all parts of their bodies will go into motion. They seem to be aware of everything in a general sort of way, but they cannot discriminate between the various things around them. Gradually, however, they learn to draw a line between what is “self” and what is “not-self,” as well as between different things.
The line which divides the self from the not-self is a conventional intellectual line, a merely superficial cultural distinction, rather than an actuality. Although this lacerating division seems confirmed and credible when expressed by verbal similistry, a purely mental separation does not actually cut off all connections between the self and the surrounding world. If the self were ever in existential fact cut off from its roots and support systems in the world, it could not continue to live for very long.
Most people in all modem societies probably suffer to some degree occasionally and unnecessarily from the kinds of problems that arise from believing in a “detached self.” Painful shyness, paralyzing stage fright and withdrawn alienation might be mentioned, to say nothing of aggressive self-assertion aimed at dominating everything and everyone else.
Seeing oneself as cut off from the rest of the world, of course, breaks up the original wholeness of the world. With the dawn of self -consciousness the world appears to fall apart. The great divide—the subject-object split—is like one of those danger-fraught permanent fractures of the earth’s crust. The ramifications of this cleavage fault run throughout the Western mentality, affecting our social behavior and everything with which our mind has to deal.
The “fall of man” stories early in the Book of Genesis can be profitably read keeping in mind the inevitable, often tragic, consequences of attaining self-conscious knowledge. These stories can be appreciated as a remarkably apt piece of similistry depicting a fundamental human predicament. To possess an objective rational mind has been considered an asset of supreme worth, yet turning it to profit in one way means incurring ruinous expense in others. When original, instinctive, holistic intuition gives way to analytic, objectifying, self-conscious intellect, severe problems of many kinds characteristically appear. The torrent of intellectual knowledge which arises out of the new consciousness may be received with undue seriousness. When theories, models and “useful approaches” are taken as absolute truth rather than as kinds of similistry, troublesome problems are sure to occur.
Whoever truly backs out of a closely knit unicity with the rest of the world must stand over against it as unsupported by it, alien and alone. When the vital roots that connect a person with the sustaining milieu have been totally broken off, the fullness of life must shrivel. Relational dryness and malnutrition will take its toll. “Specialization” can be taken too seriously and too far. A declaration of individual independence may yield not strength but weakness, not true knowledge but self-deception. The self-isolated self is a self unnecessarily pruned and cut back. Self-consciousness imprisons one within an insane and deadly delusion wherein the soul must surely die.
Unfortunately the havoc wreaked by the self/world split is not confined within the narrowed self. Ruin spreads out in all directions from self-centeredness. Both sides of the cleft are, in fact, mutually dependent. The disruption of mutual relationships reduces the capabilities, coherence and harmony both of the self and of the rest of the world.
When one considers oneself as actually apart from the world, the only feelings that matter are one’s own feelings. Harm done to other things and people becomes a matter of indifference. Hunters, experimenters and terrorists don’t usually concern themselves much with the feelings and relationships of their victims.
The subject-object split locks one into a self-centeredness which, if it does not callously exclude and deprive other things and people, may take steps to enslave them. Other people are useful only as the expendable means of empire-building. Things and people, inherently valuable because they are valued by the Maker of all, then take on a mere commercial and utilitarian value. Relative to the self-centered purposes of a self-appointed appraiser, they will be evaluated simply as being either “good” or “evil.” As good economic resources, people, plants and animals will be subject to exploitation. Greedy plundering in utter disregard of ecological consequences will push the human species ever closer to self-destruction. Overgrazing and technical megaprojects can turn earth’s gardens into deserts. “In the day you eat from it, you shall surely die.”1 Anything or anyone deemed unuseful is likely to be removed or radically reworked.
An attitude which reduces the feelings and interests of others to nullity is bound to issue not only in deliberate exploitation, but also in unceasing suspicion and aggression. An anxious self will try to manipulate everything and everyone for his or her own purposes, disrupting the ways of all others within reach. Sexual love will degenerate into self-gratification. A family will be raised simply for insurance against the problems of old age. The primitive unicity of husband and wife— “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”2—can dissolve into the war between the sexes, nonmarital liaisons, and serial marriages or divorces. “You can’t live with ’em and you can’t live without ’em!” To be seen “naked” is not only to have one’s bodily imperfection and actual weakness exposed, but to endure the embarrassment of being known to be incomplete and insufficient in oneself.
Anyone who takes sole charge of everything in all directions is in deep trouble when things go wrong and the situation deteriorates. To bear total responsibility is to bear the heaviest of burdens. Any obvious incompetence or weakness brands with the stigma of failure, and a debilitating stream of guilt flows from wounded pride. Any attempt to smear that guilt over others will only drive them farther away, as will any attempt at self-justification. It is impossible to escape the pain of guilt when the one who is accused and condemned is also the judge, jury, prosecuting attorney and star witness for the prosecution.
No one who believes that everything and everyone can actually be pushed off to a distance can in fact accomplish that herculean feat. Like an amputated leg, the ghost of what was cut off keeps coming back, experienced still as privation, needs and memories. Expert in dividing and subjugating parts of continents and peoples, Western society is nevertheless still haunted by Christian ideals: perfect marriages, mutual service, universal welfare and world unity.
A voice that rings with the cry of every exile carries across every factitious gulf ever opened. That sound resonates with everything and everyone everywhere, awakening a word that is already within us. There is Someone who cannot be cut off and distanced. It’s simply pathetic to attempt to hide from Someone who must always be present where anyone or anything is present. Whoever tries to run away from everywhere must surely flee in vain.
The price of self-assumed independence is a vain struggle to attain and maintain self-sufficiency. For a human being, complete independence from the world would mean death. The attempt to achieve complete self-sufficiency is not only impoverishing but ultimately impossible. Anyone who strives for it will soon become preoccupied with fending off illness, disability or death. Eating ceases to be the pure enjoyment of food and becomes a dire necessity for survival. Work, no longer an absorbing creative activity, becomes a desperate drive to keep poverty and dying at bay. Ideal cooperation too easily disappears in the ruthless scramble of competition. How difficult it is to keep a joyous and reverent contemplation of how everything in this world can work together, from dissolving into the frenzy of conceiving and prosecuting aggressive schemes and enterprises.
If the self-distanced person cannot really get rid of the world, the other things and people out there in the world must be dominated, pulled into orbit around one’s self, and carefully controlled. To control, contain or conquer other people and to avoid being oneself treated so, a military and political buildup on both sides of the I-they cleft will be seen as absolutely essential. The resulting armament race spirals ever upward. Doomed to futility, it bankrupts, deprives and ruins. But the reasoning of the self-centered is impeccable. “Do the others in before they do you in” is a ghastly parody on the Golden Rule.
How can the rest of the world forever be controlled by those who extol the advantages of being free and uncontrolled? Who can really be independent if everyone is obviously at all points dependent? The greatest of overlords must depend upon equipment and servants. And to be dependent is to be vulnerable.
Many books have recently been written advocating the ideals of self-awareness, self-assertion and self-sufficiency. Whether or not the repudiation of such a model for living is intended in the Genesis stories of “the fall,” to accept this current model so squarely based on self-interest and to act accordingly is nevertheless the perfect recipe for personal and social disaster. It portrays the very essence of what the Bible calls “sin.”
That self-sufficiency simply does not correspond with the conditions under which life is maintained on this earth. We draw our life from beyond ourselves. The whole world draws its existence from beyond itself.
Whatever overall similistry we may adopt, one thing is abundantly clear. The cosmos is not in human hands—neither the stars in the night sky nor the waters that reflect them, nor human observers who try to describe parts of the scene, drifting over those waters, completely dependent upon forms, forces and relations that were quietly at work long before there were human observers to notice or employ them.
1. Genesis 1:17.
2. Genesis 2:23; also Matthew 19:4-6.