“Normality is a paved road; It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow upon it.”
-Vincent van Gogh
Mankind attempts to build structure and order. However, no matter how hard we try, life continues to introduce chaos and disorder. What magic could happen if instead, we consciously make the choice to propel our life towards the natural state of chaos and disorder?
The natural state of the universe is to – over time – move from an orderly state to a disorderly state. We see this on a large scale when we observe the tendency of the universe to move from a big bang (A highly organized state, where everything is one) towards a seemingly eternally expanding universe. We also see the same tendency on any smaller scale – the second law of thermodynamics has proven this point.
Often, where we think we move towards an orderly state, we are inadvertently increasing the amount of disorder in the universe. Take – for example, a computer system. The memory in a computer is essentially a number of switches that can either be turned on or off. When nothing is stored, the switches are in a seemingly random order – unreadable by human or computer. When we store a file, the computer programming orders the switches in a state that is readable and recoverable by a computer program. It seems, in this case – we have decreased the amount of disorder in the system.
However, in doing so, the computer had to consume a significant amount of energy in terms of power, which has generated heat that is fanned out to the world – which leads to an increase in entropy in the universe. Disorder, entropy, and chaos has increased.
The natural tendency of humankind is to move from chaos to an orderly state, but as we have seen – this is an false illusion brought forth from the ego. In our limited capacity to perceive we erroneously assume we have brought order – while in fact we have only increased chaos.
Life, however, truly thrives when riding on the rainbow of chaos. Take the opposite of life – death. It is a highly structured state compared to life. In death, all is rigid, cold and motionless. In life, energy is consumed and expelled, there is constant movement and it interacts with the universe to produce even more chaos and life.
Chaos and the inherent randomness of disorder is the birthplace of complex life and extraordinary results. Take, for example, evolution. Evolution starts with a singular, simple cellular organism, then introduces an entropy generator in the form of random mutations to eventually produce incredible variance and results that exponentially explode – leading to results such as the human race.
We use the same concept in order to create artificial intelligence that can defeat the worlds greatest chess players in mere days of practice.
A very complex and philosophical story – but how does this help us in day-to-day life? Well, you see, human lives are also a chaotic system. As much as we try to cling to the safety of an orderly life, this is not where enormous, exponential results are generated. It must be our objective to find the perfect balance between chaos and order.
Take, for example, a picture consisting of nothing else than black and white squares. If we put these squares in a perfectly ordered state with no randomness at all – we end up with a perfect checkerboard, or maybe a black and white flag. If we introduce infinite randomness to the squares, we’d end up with a completely garbled mess of white noise. In our daily lives, we consciously strive to achieve this perfect checkerboard of order.
This is, however, not the state we want to be in. If our experience in life in the garbled mess of white noise, we’d go through life as a crazed psychopath living in a permanent psychosis. The checkerboard analogy, however, is not much better – since it would be best compared to severe depression. What if we take the perfect checkerboard and we introduce entropy and chaos – but not so much we would have complete randomness – what could be constructed from just black and white squares?
Art, beauty as well as achievement exist on this perfect balance between chaos and order. Take this average bell curve of a population distribution. Some people are poor, some people are rich, most people are doing just well for themselves – the middle class or mediocrity.
If you take a look at the bell curve for who has the most money, however, the curve looks completely different.
It is just a small percentage of the people that are rich, but they do hold almost ALL of the money. It means that is pays to be on the extreme end of the curve. And by staying in a normal, mediocre lane you will not reach the 0.001%. You will have to produce exponential results. The ends of the curve are not achieved by following a 1-2-3 step guide to ‘How to become successful.’. There are common elements in successful people’s life – sure – but they all achieved the end of the curve by a unique pathway through life.
The events that eventually explode exponentially and lead us towards greatness cannot be predicted beforehand – these are so called black-swan events that are unpredictable yet lead to extraordinary results. These are unique, creative, opportunistic events.
Put your life in a blender
In order to find these events we must introduce entropy and chaos in our life.
Take – for example – a person suffering from depression. The mediocre, orderly path to a cure would be to induce positive thinking, talk about your problems and painfully attempt not to feel depressed. Anyone who has ever suffered from depression knows that this is useless and folly. The neural pathways that produce the depressive emotions are simply too embedded to change by a mere change of mindset. You need something to completely put your mind in a blender and reconfigure the structures of the brain.
Science is showing that certain psychedelic substances such as psilocybin, MDMA or ayahuasca increase the amount of randomness in neural pathway activation. It is exactly the reason why people see funny hallucinations while induced but also why it is currently the most promising cure to depression, anxiety and PTSD.
Or take the concept of diversification in an investment portfolio. The point of the diversification is not to play safe and avoid going broke. There are many investments that are incredible safe and would be a good harbor for all your money. Moreover, if you wanted to be incredible safe – you could spread out all your money across all possible investments and never go broke. Common sense already tells you that is foolish behavior if you want to achieve anything with your money.
The point of diversification in an investment portfolio is to increase the randomness in your results. Because of the way the money compounds in a successful investment – just a single investment that produces excellent returns can completely overshadow any mediocre or unsuccessful investments in the rest of the portfolio. This is how the end of the bell-curve is reached.
The list goes on and on; Introducing a controlled amount of chaos in physical training has been shown to increase hypertrophy gains as opposed to always doing the same exercises. Having a lot of dates with different people is more likely to lead to you finding the soulmate of your life. Trying the same thing over and over again will lead to similar, mediocre results.
So experiment, put your life and mind in a blender.
Ride the hurricane of chaos towards the sky.
One thought on “Chaos”
Having read this I believed it was really enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!