The Chaotic Mind!

Chaos is a term that is often used by people to describe various conditions of complete disorder, a total lack of organization and a state of utter confusion, which are characterized by disorder, disarray, disorganization, mayhem, bedlam, pandemonium, madness, havoc, turmoil, tumult, turbulence, commotion, disruption, upheaval, furore, frenzy, uproar, babel, a maelstrom, a muddle, a mess, a shambles, entropy, all hell broken loose, a madhouse, …etc.

Thus, chaos generally is a state in which behaviors, occurrences and events are not controlled by anything or anyone and dictated by the unpredictability of accidental or unrelated circumstances, which we neither understand, nor are we able to explain it. The psychological impact of chaos is mainly accompanied by toxic emotions and feelings of frustration, uncertainty, helplessness and “what possibly could be next…confusions, which can be distinguished as follows…

Destructive Chaos…

Destructive chaos normally manifest when we deal with change from a close-minded stance and cling to unquestioned dogmas, regardless of facts and/or information to the contrary.

Constructive Chaos…

Chaos is a ladder to climb from the pit. Unfortunately, Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, when given a second chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the illusion that all is well. Only the ladder is real. Actually, the climb is all there is.

Big Squeeze Chaos…

The big squeeze illustrate - in simple terms - the chaos that accompanied a mindset or paradigm shift, especially drastic shifts such as - for example - evolving from being a victim to emerge victoriously as a survivor.

1. The Chaos Theory

The Chaos Theory is an area of research, inquiry or exploration in mathematics, physics and philosophy that is studying the behaviour of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions. This sensitivity is intimately related to the Order/Chaos-cycle and Butterfly Effect.

Chaos happens even though these systems are deterministic, which implies that their future dynamics are fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. In other words… the deterministic nature of these chaotic systems, do not make them predictable. Chaotic behaviour can be observed in many natural systems (for example weather patterns) and are specifically noticeable in human behaviour and healing processes. Efforts to explain such behaviour often sought answers through analysis of a chaotic mathematical models or through a variety of analytical techniques.

Events appears to be chaotic, only because we fail to fully understand in context, satisfactorily explain and reliably predict the outcomes or results of particular processes. Once a process becomes known, explainable and reliably predictable… it no longer can be termed as chaotic.

The Order/Chaos-Cycle - as a vital and symbiotic integrated part of the Cycle of Life - which essentially manage (i.e. control, direct & steer) those actions and behaviours, which initiate and maintain activities that mediate our harmonious environmental fit. Once change happens within our present umwelt (i.e inner life) and/or our environment (i.e outer life), the harmony of interactions are disturbed and the balance or equilibrium needs to be restored in order to sustain a healthy self-empowerment drive and psyche. In our efforts to regain a harmonious environmental fit once again - which can be either productive or unproductive - the Order/Chaos-Cycle is the main process that we use to do so.

The characteristics of the Order/Chaos-Cycle that ultimately drives our “adaptation” to change, are essentially as follows…

  • seeds of order seem to be embedded in chaos, while seeds of chaos are apparently embedded in order;
  • seeds of destruction lies in our achieved success, whereas seeds of success are contained in our failures;
  • systems that are stable in relation and context to their environment, can become unstable (i.e. chaotic);
  • systems that are unstable can return to stability (i.e. restoring order) and
  • order and chaos are two sides of the same “change” coin.

Thus, both order and chaos in our lives are essential to sustain personal growth and development, providing that restoring harmony within our umwelt and environment, happens on a higher level of awareness and lessons learned from past experiences, which results in enlightenment.

The Order/Chaos-Cycle is a natural, in born phenomenon and responsible for our continuous growth, development, maturity, manifesting our potential, emotional maturity, self-actualization and the likes. People are like teabags, we ain't aware of our strengths… unless we find ourselves in the “hot water”!

Unfortunately, the Order/Chaos-cycle is such a natural part of human beingness, that we tend to either “overlook” or “ignore” the real value and significance of this cycle for personal self-actualization.

For example…

The moment of conception is chaotic in essence (random cell division), which is gradually transformed into order (developing baby). That order lasts for a couple of months, till the chaotic birth. After this period of chaos, things return to order in the form of a toddler. The order of “being a toddler” becomes chaotic, when changes takes place and the toddler is exposed to a new environment… school for example. An so does the Order/Chaos-cycle continue throughout our lives…. the order of the primary school child, is replaced by a chaotic secondary school; the order of secondary school becomes disturbed by the chaos of the university; bachelor order is “destroyed” by marriage; an orderly marriage is upset by chaotic children; the order of a career becomes chaotic with retrenchment; ordered societies transform into chaos with political changes; …etc. …etc.

The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions, also present in the Chaos Theory; namely that small differences or variations in the initial condition of a dynamic system could produce large variations in the long term behaviour of a complex system. Although this often appears to be exclusive esoteric and unusual behaviour, this behaviour is exhibited by many very simple systems.

For example… A ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys below, depending on a slight differences or variation in the initial positioning of the ball. Or, the randomness of the outcomes of throwing dice depends on the characteristic to amplify small differences in initial conditions - the precise direction, thrust, and orientation of the throw - into significantly different dice paths and outcomes, which makes it virtually impossible to throw dice exactly the same way twice.

The Butterfly Effect is also a common allegoryI.e. used in a figurative or non-literal sense. in fiction when providing scenarios involving time travel and with “what if” scenarios where one story line diverges - at the moment of a seemingly minor event - resulting in two significantly different outcomes.

The term Butterfly Effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the metaphorical example of the details of a hurricane (exact time of formation, exact path taken) being influenced by minor perturbations such as the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly several weeks earlier. Lorenz discovered the effect when he observed that runs of his weather model with initial condition data that was rounded in a seemingly inconsequential manner, would fail to reproduce the results of runs with the unrounded initial condition data. A very small change in initial conditions had created a significantly different outcome.

All our believes, thoughts, ideas, interpretations, perceptions, mindsets, beliefs, attitudes, motivations, expectations, …etc. influence or impact on our behaviour and actions… regardless the seemingly insignificance of such a thought or idea. Therefore, never ever underestimate the formidable power, impact and influence of the little jackal trap in the long run.

2. A Reasonable Conclusion

Initially and on the surface we tend to regard chaos as our enemy, because of the uneasiness, discomfort and turmoil that we experience as a result of chaos. However - as a matter of fact - chaos actually is our ally for growth, development and self-actualization. It is a matter of perspective. When we believe chaos to be our enemy, it will inevitably result in derailments and stuckness. But when we regard chaos as our friend, it will inevitably result in personal development and growth, which is an excellent counter measure for future shock. The latter is often referred to as an alchemist inclination and attitude, something that is hard-wired into our DNA so to speak.

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  • Last modified: 18 September, 2018 @ 7:29pm
  • by Jan Viljoen