A Human Approach

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Inspired by Chaos

What is chaos?

If the Universe operates by order, why do we feel chaos in our lives? Why is there uncertainty, sickness, setbacks, betrayal and the haunting of the unknown that causes us such despair?

Do you ever find yourself saying, “I don’t get it … I give up” when you’re feeling angry, frustrated or confused? Of course you don’t give up; you back off, take stock, ask questions, analyze then give it another go, right?

As Dr. Jordan Peterson describes it, in our world of experiences there are primal constituents, “One of these is chaos. Another is order.”

Peterson elaborates that order is what we experience to be familiar because it has already transpired; it’s the road already travelled. Chaos is the unexpected disruption when the behaviour of the world doesn’t match expectations.

Make a date: order. It gets cancelled: chaos.

Book a flight: order. Get stranded travelling: chaos.

Set up a new bank account: order. The branch closes unexpectedly: chaos.

We like stable and consistent and by nature rarely venture beyond what we understand but even the best laid plans in familiar territory – the date with a friend – can go awry when something unexpected happens. Is it possible to live in order and to avoid chaos?

Peterson asks us to see order (the known), and chaos (the unknown) as male and female counterparts. He elaborates, “Order, the known, appears symbolically associated with masculinity … perhaps because the primary hierarchical structure of human society is masculine…” Men, traditionally, have been the engineers, bricklayers, builders and military. But chaos, the female, represents the substance from which all things are made. “In its positive guise, chaos is possibility itself, the source of ideas, the mysterious realm of gestation and birth.”

Aha! ~ See chaos as the way to move forward.

“Women’s proclivity to say no, more than any other force, has shaped our evolution into the creative, industrious, upright, large-brained (competitive, aggressive, domineering) creatures that we are.”

Order and chaos are the yin and yang – the fundamental elements – of being. In seeking order, we create chaos, and it is our consciousness – a third element – that mediates between them.

Order and chaos have, and always will, fundamentally co-exist. There is stability in order but limited growth. Too much chaos can be overwhelming.

Then again, both are made real by our perception.

I am beyond grateful to have received 12 Rules of Life, Dr. Jordan Peterson, a brilliant, well-researched and soul of a human, as a gift from my son this past Christmas. I both deliberately and humbly highlight Peterson this week in light of the College of Psychologists of Ontario threatening to strip him of his credentials for questioning the perceived authorities. Let’s talk more about life’s meaning and the role order and chaos plays tomorrow, Tuesday, January 17th at NOON eastern right here.

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