Tag Archives: order
As an example, not a general theory, a parent who habitually keeps everything organised, clean and in place, may feel displeasure when their child does not follow this model. Sensing displeasure, the child may feel restrained and controlled, and possibly develop a reaction via contrary behaviour. Of course, reactions to initial conditions are way more complex. But both, excessive order and excessive chaos in the early environment set a tone.
My early impressions were in the middle, yet plenty of condensed experiences pull me into repetitive behaviour. But people for whom, let’s say, the organised model felt intolerable, meeting an adult partner who likes order, even in a mild way, easily hooks into their initial reaction. The desire for order is stability, beauty, keeping the wild and unpredictable at bay, and also serves as a buffer against anxiety. But someone who felt restricted by order may easily feel controlled. In this two-way process, any projection also frames the projector, and various complex relationships are such defined, with children, partners, work colleagues, mentors, groups, and even political parties. The irony is that instead of choosing a partner or group where this conflict does not arise, we often unconsciously attract an early model we disliked, maybe because of its familiarity, maybe because of the implied challenge. I assume it’s a psychological trick allowing for lessons in tolerance and, hopefully in time, a reframing of one’s life story.
While periods of stability are necessary, it is from chaos that creativity is born and new forms emerge, which is why some artists embrace chaos, allowing for the spontaneous discovery of new patterns and hidden harmonies.
To voluntary endure the dissonance between order and chaos is a spiritual quest towards an attitude of transcendence.
In this sense, and with the emphasis on becoming, my Sufi teacher, Fazal Inayat-Khan, who was also a musician and poet, used to orchestrate chaos in workshops for his students to great effect. He trained us well for the turbulent cultural changes that are now upon us, a global rite of passage we best consciously engage with. Faith in the unknown tends to signal our guiding spirit to open unsuspected doors towards a deeper resonance with the collective psyche.
“Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.’ — Fyodor Dostoevsky
‘The Gods envy the perfection of man, because perfection has no need of the Gods. But since no one is perfect, we need the Gods.’ … Carl Jung, Liber Novus, page 244
‘The ideal is the means; its breaking is the goal.’ Hazrat Inayat Khan
Ever since I came upon James Gleick’s book ‘Chaos,’ the William Heinemann Ltd 1988 edition, I was fascinated by the concept which has radically changed scientific enquiries, as well as giving new meaning to my practice of transpersonal therapy.
James Gleick’s book also contains the amazing Mandelbrot set. Here a short introduction …
James Gleick’s newest publication is on ‘Information.’
Phew … here I’m challenged … a new wordpress format with its insistence on ‘blocks,’ disallows me the use of the classic editor. It’s a headache to create a post.
Ambiguity is my name. I’m burdened or blessed with a self-reliant streak. Major decisions in my life were made intuitively, magically, spontaneously. I tend to escape the tedium of – must – have to – social coercion – small mindedness, and the like, via stretches of doubt, waiting for the sixth sense and moments of clarity to kick in. You guess right, I dislike rigid structures, uniformity and over regulations that kill creativity. I juggle for authenticity. A glimpse into the psychology of this stance appears in this post from 2012 – the wild horse of the mind, but possibly rebels are simply born with a disposition to serve social balance and individual autonomy.
Ambiguity moves (as in emotion) – is subtle – complex – questions facts – tolerates uncertainty – leaves doors open – is universal and timeless – playful and iconoclastic – tends to link dust motes to the cosmos and embraces multiple meanings.
I climbed into the plum tree and ate the grapes I found there. The owner of the garden called to me, ‘Why are you eating my walnuts?’ … Yunus Emre
There is beauty in order and certainty.
There is beauty in chaos and uncertainty.
Life serves up both, be it in slow motion or in rapid succession.
From the tension between order and chaos springs creativity.
To strike a balance is becoming difficult. Scientists, today’s explorers, provide useful facts that endlessly improve our lives, bless them, but unlike individuals and small businesses, they can indulge in mistakes, because science funding continuous even when facts prove wrong and change, because it aids the economy. To use a quaint example, one moment coffee is said to kill us, next it is lauded as beneficial. The list of contradictions is endless, and amusing. Statistics, as expedient as they are, skip the varied metabolisms of individuals, the whim and wisdom of the body. Some bad stuff, in moderation, actually maintains the body/mind equilibrium. And there are the cosmic and psychic weather changes we have no control over that affect individual moods and attitudes. In short, the tyranny of algorithms that dictate what is good for us can be counterproductive.
Since having taken the risk of making time for writing, with less duties and roles to consider, I’m tolerant of disorder. My personal erratic filing, analogue or digital, starts out well, but as data builds up, valuable notes, articles and images sit unattended and unconnected, until I vaguely remember an item that might fit a present concern. It takes a day or two day fretting over, but if I open the question as to the whereabouts of particular information in the Noosphere my brain eventually makes the connection and goes ‘ping.’
I prefer this disorderly memory system. It liberates and enables me to switch off ‘overwhelmed,’ providing a descent amount of inner peace.
John Keats (in 1817) coined the term negative capability for his preference of intuition and uncertainty above reason and knowledge. His definition chimes, though for me, ‘living the mystery’ sums it up better.
Writing from intuition resulted in my first novel, ‘Course of Mirrors, continued with a sequel venturing into SF, and a third book. There was no plan, only an initial image. From there on the characters created their world. My personal myth added spice and deepened the narrative, making it universally relevant.
I write for the pleasure of sharing the diverse experiences of my personal myth. My gut feeling tells me we need more living and writing through mystery.
another relevant post the magic of remembrance
in truth I am two
one inside and one outside
a mirror between
of late – I don’t know –
has become my daily chant
a mantra – almost
does our ONE earth too
have a crack down the middle?
what’s it like this place?
shared with an alien
no story will be alike
which does not surprise
we are all aliens
to ourselves and the other
which can’t be controlled
by factions who invest in
power as they might
the ideal of ONE
is an enigma veiled by
a mysterious station
beyond birth and death
or where time shortly pauses
between each new breath
love that inspires
the yearning for one being
weaves through the unseen
yes, my chant is sad
but wings forever unfold
hello horizon …
Winding the clock back to before events were recorded in writing and ordered along linear timelines, folks across the globe unified their beliefs through countless symbolic creation myths, none the same, and much more fun than any Big Bang theory, which, in any case, must surely relate to only one among many big & small bangs. Since record-taking, everything supposed to have happened has been arranged around a spine and neatly ordered, chaos tamed into a clearly delineated map of history. It is a beautiful logical structure, mirroring the cosmos, nature, plants, the human body, the brain.
The concept that all is one in eternity and everything in the universe connects to everything else is ancient, if difficult to uphold in daily life. And here comes our century with its digital multi-perspectives. Bones are loosened from the spine and make a mess of our time map. The neat rules of cause and effect science has used to build reliable calculations are re-shuffled into surreal dreamlike possibilities, while we cling uneasily to our everyday three dimensions.
Information is spinning so fast that old beliefs drop into vast seas of information (energy,) so turbulent; we must decide where to place ourselves and chart new destinations. Think uncertainty principle – position of particle – momentum of wave. Solutions waver. What does humanity want? What is its purpose, its vision?
The deep sea of information, like the unconscious psyche, is tossing unpalatable errors of judgement into the light, dark stuff, requesting acknowledgement and inclusion, personally and collectively. My – I don’t know – mantra resist all stale answers and advice, other than inklings from the spirit of inner guidance.
Within the ONE innumerable realities exist together … heartlands of strangeness seeking ever new formations. It intrigues and troubles me that the escalating complexities of life might result in social decisions being assigned to data crunching artificial intelligence devices. Our roots might shrivel. Where would we be without the stories drawn up from the inner worlds of the imagination. I wrote about it here:
P L Travers says … nothing is truly known until it is known organically … this chimes for me. There’s even a hint as to the why of human existence.
Maps, the symbolic depictions of relationships between different elements, be they objects, regions in space, or ideas in conceptual domains, serve as orientation devices. Though it’s worth remembering Korzybski’s point, ‘The Map is not the territory.’
Given the complexity of global problems, there’s a dire need for charting the increasing expansion of specialised knowledge, diverse traditions and experiences, into a wider context. Since the poetic image of our planet rising in space did not grip the hearts of a critical mass, we need theoretical overviews to dispel confusions, and explore how all the seemingly disparate comprehensions of the world we live in can work together in a more intelligent and unified way.
Ken Wilber is a great proponent of an’ Integral Theory,’ bringing together many fields of knowledge and methodologies, scientific and spiritual, in an attempt to show how all these partial truths can be reconciled and be mutably enriching. This 1.5 hour talk is brilliant, and eminently worth listening to.
In his AQAL map (You can press – 1MB free – and get a screen resolution) Wilber integrates various developmental ideas, which may remind of Abraham Maslow and Carl Gustav Jung, to name but a few mapmakers before him. In the above talk Wilber describes developmental tipping points in recent history, which apparently needed only a small percentage of the population, the 10 percent who could embrace the new value, to bring about a collective shift in consciousness.
He’s expecting another tipping point to emerge soon. Fresh conceptions can bring more truth and more love to our actions, more consciousness, more skill to deal with complexities, and more compassion to every dimension of human knowledge and activity.
I hope you’ll find the time to listen to Wilbers talk, and maybe further study his work.
My former Sufi teacher, Fazal Inayat-Khan, (image by Ashen) also felt strongly that new conceptual maps were required. His aim was to integrate transpersonal aspect into the field of psychology. During a summer school in 1990, a few weeks before he died, he sketched the following cosmology on a flip chart and invited us to play with it.
The graph depicts three worlds, the natural Cosmos, the finer Psyche, and the yet finer Pneuma (spirit,) differentiating the function, structure and content of each world.
How these three dimensions can relate to an individual is set into the same framework.
For me, this playful ordering made perfect sense, and, in a kind of epiphany, helped me to clarify the tremendous importance of the world of the imagination, and how it is held together by meaning. It also gave me new ideas about time. These days I like to call the Psyche the changing room.
Our small group that day was encouraged by Fazal to replace terms and use our own words in this presentation, according to our own understanding. He was this kind of teacher. I dearly miss this wonderful friend, the community and the place.
Does this cosmology, this orientation device, corresponds in any way to your understanding and experience? And I’d be curious know if you feel inspired to change or move words around.
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On the ‘OTHER’ page of this site (see top bar) you can find a PDF link to an article I wrote on the imaginative function based on ideas of the great Muhyi-d-Din Ibn ‘Arabi. The article is called ‘Science of the Heart.’