The Chaos Theory


What is chaos? Chaos stands for disorder and confusion. People abhor it. But it can seldom be contained. It appears to be a natural state of affairs. Everything, from our society to our lives to our universe appears to be in a state of chaos.

First some theory. Chaos comes from the Greek word “Khaos” which means “gaping void”. In the Greek mythology, it was a void in which all matter existed in a confused and amorphous shape. Chaos stood for “nothingness.” Earth was born from Chaos. And so was the Sky (Heaven).

Some people have tried to analyze chaos. Learned people have tried to model this chaos using every available tool – maths to philosophy. But understanding of chaos is elusive. Mumbo jumbo quotes on chaos have made this a highly intellectual subject matter. Take for instance what Lorenz said:

When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future

Chaos has deep philosophical undertones. Many a mortal philosopher has found immortality in the annals of history by spouting random crap on the subject. But what about us? What do we consider of chaos in our lives. A sitcom had this quote – which made my day. It did not try explaining what causes chaos. Rather it contrasted our perceptions of chaos.

Chaos Is A Ladder

Success is born out of the abyss of chaos. Indeed, life is chaotic. Chaos breeds opportunity. The fiery molten embers of chaos separate the ordinary from the extraordinary. Successful people survive and out-think chaos to come up trumps. They do now surrender to the depths of chaos. Thus, they see chaos as a ladder. An opportunity. But seeing it as a ladder alone does not guarantee redemption. Many people climb the ladder. The competition is fierce, and the climb is tough. People fall while climbing the ladder of chaos. The climbs are always dirty. There are no rules for climbing the ladder. If you can go up the next rung, you have won a battle – and another rung beckons. A fall can be back-breaking. Many give up before the climb is over. And others cling on to a rung, neither falling, nor rising. The climb is but essential for those who want to get out of the rut.

A nice way to see it would be from the viewpoint of a water molecule in a cube of ice. Heat induces randomness in the molecule. The subsequent melting causes the water molecule to re-position itself. It does not have to contend with the rigidity of the ice cube. As the state of chaos deepens, the molecule becomes even more excited. Ultimately, it finds freedom by escaping into the atmosphere.

So chaos leads to breaking of structures which inhibited growth of an individual. Rules change. And hierarchies loosen up. But some people see chaos for what it is – a pit. A pit of great pain and suffering. A pit which has to be avoided at all costs. And this contrasts those who see chaos as a ladder.

In terms of our economic world order, a capitalist would see chaos as a ladder – with individual progress the incentive. A socialist would on the other hand see chaos as an abyss – which brings people pain and suffering – thus to be avoided also collectively.

Just saying, that chaos is a different idea for different people.

P.S. The quote was by Lord Peter “Littlefinger” Baelish from “The Game of Thrones“. I strongly recommend you watch it for all the intrigue it has. Watch it here !!


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