Do you feel that life is completely flat and dull? Or do you feel that you can never get a grip on anything in your life and it is totally out of your control?
Ultimately, we have to embrace chaos.
Death is chaotic; we lose everything that we have been working for our entire lives. It is the ultimate expression of chaos. Every single thing that we have ever done is swept away. We cease to exist.
No living creature wants that.
Living is awesome. It is amazing to be able to use our senses to negotiate a beautiful and awe-inspiring world. There are up and there are downs, but we all cling to the preciousness of life with a white-knuckled grip.
Death waits for us as we go about our lives.
The funny thing about death is that it is fairly organized and orderly. It happens in a certain way for every living thing. It appears chaotic from the outside, but it is rhythmic in its processes.
We lose consciousness, we lose blood, our heart stop, air leaves our lungs, electrical activity in our brain crackles and slowly fades. And then, it all stops, and the being who we were a moment ago is no longer there.
The physical body remains, and becomes food for bacteria, fungi, and microorganisms. All proceeding in a natural cycle that has gone on for hundreds of millions of years.
And perhaps across the vast universe there are a dozen planets like ours, harboring life in a similar manner, and trillions of life forms being born, living, and dying every year, just like on our planet.
The sheer vastness of that much life and death is hard to comprehend.
So we focus on our own lives. All of us struggle to get through all that we must do every day, right? We have our struggles, we have our triumphs, and we successes and failures. We find love and lose it, we grow old and lose friends, family, and beloved pets.
From the tops of mountains life soars to the bottoms of the oceans.
Every day we work hard to put our lives into some kind of order. After a few decades of living, we start to realize that our lives follow patterns, patterns that we set up early on and now fulfill unconsciously.
In truth, life is chaos. From condensed nothingness erupted the endless vast chaos of the cosmos.
On a daily basis we think we are fighting against chaos to keep our lives in order. But what we are really fighting against is losing a sense of control over ourselves.
Of course there is nothing wrong with putting things in order. Order is beautiful and necessary as well. But without the wilderness, we are all doomed.
The issue is that we can only fight against the immediate chaos in our lives, we cannot change the ultimate chaos that will consume us, that will consume everyone. We cannot change the seemingly random chaotic world that spins around us, politics and religion and social issues that threaten sometimes to overwhelm us.
We all have different types of chaos that we fight. We all feel different levels of stress and anxiety.
But what if we could let go of that fight and embrace chaos?
What would that mean in our lives?
Perhaps we would stand and chat with that friendly cashier for a bit longer then usual, and see how their day was going. Maybe they would find that refreshing, and have a positive feeling about the day. Perhaps they would take that feeling and spread it around the neighborhood themselves, smiling at strangers and tipping the waitress well at the cafe.
Conversely we could fight chaos each and every day in order to secure our future, moving quickly and hurriedly through the line at Walmart, refraining from making eye contact with people, and rushing around in our cars to get it all done for the day, so that we can finally, finally let go and relax for a couple hours.
And what is that relaxation? That is controlled chaos.
Is that the way we want to live our lives?
Look around to see what that looks like.
The people or countries that seem to have the highest happiness index seem to embrace the chaos of being human, meaning they don’t pretend that life is anything other than chaotic and random.
We all know that we can plan our lives up to a certain point, and then chaos will interject random ups and downs into them.
When you lose a loved one to cancer, or a friend to a car accident, that becomes very clear.
We can fight on, but life and death will continue as they always have.
The basic question is — how much worth does the fight bring to our lives?
Just as life and death balance eachother out in the universe, so do chaos and order.
One thing is not either or, it is a combination of all of the above, yet another indication of the chaotic nature of the universe.
As human beings we have an issue — we tend to assign moral value to ideas, such as chaos and order. Chaos is thought of as bad, and order is thought of as good.
We don’t seem to be able to simply accept what is without transferring our own emotional state onto the situation.
But beyond that we center all of our efforts on creating order out of the chaos, when in fact they need to be fully balanced.
If life was all order, it would be dull, flat, and contain no surprises or joy.
If life was all chaos, it would be overstimulating, knotted, and contain no peace of mind.
But it is not a black or white situation. Life is a chaotic complex creation full of mystery and beauty and madness and joy.
The story of humans is the story of creating order from the chaos of our surroundings. Now that we created order in our surroundings, we have become bored and fight amongst ourselves.
We have become filled with confusion about purpose and wonder why we exist. In time, we are visited by chaos, and we fight to hold on to what we know.
Sometimes we win that fight, and sometimes we lose, but regardless we like to put that chaos in our past immediately and try to forget about it.
But Chaos is the best learning tool that we have.
To embrace chaos means to be open to the universe. To be open to the universe allows us to evolve, to change, to grow, and to be open to big changes that can improve our lives when they show up, unannounced, at the door.
If we do not embrace chaos, we might miss an opportunity that could change our lives.