Calm and Chaos

April 15, 2016 noexpertbut 2 comments

It’s a thin line between calm and chaos. I want to take that line and make it thick. Really really think. I want to make it so thick that chaos is held clearly and firmly on its side of the line.

As I write this I’m aware that I’m talking about chaos. It’s not going to be contained by a line, real or imagined. By its nature chaos is going to do its best to destroy the very idea of a line. Even when we feel we may have created or discovered some degree of balance, chaos is lurking. It waits patiently for the façade of calm to crumble. Or is there a means to conquer it and remain calm in the face of inevitable chaos?

When I examine what I go through in my day I can see where the conflict between calm and chaos arises. On one side I have my plans, I have a clear idea of how I want to spend my time. There are deadlines to meet and goals to achieve. Chaos sits on the other side poised to thwart, metaphorical spanner in hand, ready to be thrown into my works. It’s so simple for chaos to hinder my plans and by so doing unravel my calm. My calm is almost entirely based on my desire to achieve what I have told myself I need to do. Chaos is no more than the frustration of my desires not being met. And there is the solution lying at the crux of the problem. I am giving chaos all the power. The true chaos is the idea I have created in my mind, that if I don’t tick off my list today then I have failed, that my idea of what needs to be achieved is somehow so vitally important that if frustrated it will lead to calamitous retribution. Aiding chaos is the idea that when anything new comes along I immediately think I have to deal with it and drop what I think is truly important.

The answer to what has seemed like an endless riddle to me might be to alter my perception of emerging priorities and rationally address them for what they are rather than seeing them as obstacles to my calm. Applying reason, I can either give immediate attention to the interruption or triage it. I also have to look closely at the things on my to do list. Who said I had to do all these things? Who said I had to make them all happen today? Who said I had to do them all at once? Turns out I did! Why exactly I don’t know, but it’s clear that the malicious force I personify as ‘Chaos’ is only a figment of my over active human mind, so too is my seemingly endless list of desires. Perhaps the best way to create calm is to remove the line between calm and chaos entirely, remove the very idea of an internal world of opposing forces. With that perhaps I can take away the power they hold in my mind and the affect they have upon my thoughts and actions.

Evan Shapiro
Author – Road To Nowhere
www.amazon.com/author/evanshapiro

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2 Comments on "Calm and Chaos"

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Chuck Vedova
Guest
Dr. Shapiro, Sir – even as I start to respond to this latest gift from you to all humanity, I am still unsure how to play this. I could play it straight and assume that you were playing it straight when you wrote this deeply human piece. I could play it straight while secretly going with my gut instinct that there was a kindly and knowing smile on your face as you wrote this. Or I could just get all Tom Robbins on you – with a dash of W.C. Fields and a smidgeon of Robin Williams thrown into the… Read more »
noexpertbut
Guest
Chuck, I like to think I’m always expressing ideas with a kindly and knowing smile. A knowing smile that is not so fixed that it may also be seen as an unknowing smile. Another word for calm, as hinted in the featured images is order. To me both chaos and order are productions of the human mind. We overlay them upon all we see including the structure of the universe. Or perhaps order and chaos are creations of the universe and our human brains have evolved as a reflection of that? It’s certainly fun to play in the realm of… Read more »
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